'High' on discoveries Mercator plans more wells

Vol 19, PW 3 (08 Oct 15) Exploration & Production

Mercator Petroleum is planning to drill another four exploration wells at its onshore CB-ONN-2005/9 block in early 2016, riding 'high' on a wave of elation after two back-to-back oil discoveries, “We want to begin drilling in January or February,” confirms a Mercator source.

“We’re moving fast with pre-project activities like issuing tenders for a rig and services. This will be a fast-track project with all four wells drilled back-to-back.

” Mercator is likely to hire a 1500-hp rig this time instead of the 1000-hp John Energy rig which it used to drill the earlier two discovery wells Jyoti-1 and Jyoti-2. “Those wells (Jyoti-1 and Jyoti-2) were drilled to less than 3000 metres," says an industry source.

"This time Mercator wants to drill the wells up to 3500 metres. For that it needs a a higher capacity rig.

A 1500-hp rig would be ideal." Mercator, he adds, faced problems when it was drilling the earlier wells as the rig started shaking so it feels a higher capacity rig is paramount.

Besides tenders for a rig and services, Mercator has also begun issuing tenders to buy casing, tubulars and other drilling consumables. It is also simultaneously acquiring land for the drill sites.

Mercator, one of India’s largest shipping companies, has diverse interests in coal mining, dredging services and commodity transportation.