HOEC hires Essar for Dirok development wells

Vol 19, PW 13 (10 Mar 16) Exploration & Production

BSE-listed HOEC's share price has been depressed over the last year amid concerns of little or no activity at pre-NELP gas discovery block AAP-ON-94/1 in Assam.

But here's news that just might make it swing back up: a senior HOEC source confirms it has hired 1500-hp Essar rig National 110-UE to begin developing the Dirok-1, Dirok-2 and Dirok-4 gas discoveries next month (April). HOEC, he adds, aims to begin producing 600,000 cm/d by January 2017 to supply the new Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer (BCPL) petrochemical complex at Lepetkata near Dibrugarh in Assam.

"We hope to deliver first gas by end 2016-17," he says. HOEC issued a LoA to Essar in January this year over rivals John Energy and Quippo for mobilisation to site by end-March for around $25,000/day.

Under the $85m Field Development Plan (FDP) HOEC will first use the Essar rig to convert its three gas discovery wells to development wells over April and May. By June it will begin drilling two development wells: one firm, another optional after evaluation of results from the first well.

HOEC will also set up a Gas Gathering Station and lay a 25-km gas pipeline at the field and has selected UK-based Expro over Schlumberger to set up a 'modular' gas processing plant which it believes will help save time and money.