ONGC approves $469m upgrade at Neelam

Vol 18, PW 26 (27 Aug 15) Exploration & Production

Age is just a number, except on your birthday when the number just keeps rising.

But for ONGC the number it worries about most is at one of its oldest producing fields, Neelam offshore Mumbai, and measured in barrels per day. ONGC directors on August 13 approved a Rs2818cr ($469m) project to revitalise ageing Neelam - currently producing around 17,000 b/d and 1m cm/d associated gas from 94 wells.

But under the new plan ONGC wants to add 12,000 b/d and 1m cm/d gas beginning 2018-19 rising to 23,000 b/d and 1.12m cm/d in 2022-23. Work has begun to float tenders for the redevelopment that will see 14 new development wells drilled to 1500-2000 metres.

Another 13 old wells will be 'side-tracked' and four old producing wells will be converted to water injectors. Also planned are two new platforms and 'clamp-ons' - or structural components - fitted on three old platforms.

Neelam sits in water depths of around 60 metres and has been producing since 1994-95 but faces an 8% annual production decline and water cut of more than 80%. "Over the years," we hear, "water cut has been increasing and production is declining.

" Under the redevelopment programme, ONGC expects to extract an additional 2.76m tonnes of oil and 4.78bn cubic metres of gas, mainly from both Mukta and Bassein pay zones.