New well to replace Olpad#31 blow-out

Vol 18, PW 24 (30 Jul 15) News in Brief

ONGC is planning to drill a substitute well in a few months time to resume gas production after the devastating Olpad#31 well blowout at its Ankleshwar asset in Gujarat on April 18.

"ONGC has closed and abandoned Olpad#31," says a senior ONGC source, "so an alternative must be found." He adds the substitute well will be drilled 1-km from Olpad#31 for safety reasons. Initially ONGC wanted to drill a 'relief' well 200 metres away to contain the fire and divert the gas from the blowout at the well, earlier producing 20,000 cm/d.

But this was not necessary as the leak was contained by May 1, even though two workers hired by Sitaram Energy and Logistics lost their lives. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on July 22 told parliament the Oil Industry Safety Directorate found the cause was inadequate supervision and monitoring of workover operations by both ONGC and Sitaram.

ONGC says it incurred losses of up to Rs2cr ($310,000) due to the fire.