Pan India pushes back drilling plans yet again

Vol 19, PW 20 (16 Jun 16) Exploration & Production

Pan India needs to hurry if it wants to complete its Phase-I Minimum Work Programme at CB-ONN-2010/5 by the DGH's March 28, 2017 deadline.

But the Gurgaon-based oil and gas newcomer has again pushed back plans to drill its maiden exploration well at the 49-sq km onland north Gujarat block until after September, much to the DGH's dismay. A DGH source tells us at the last Quarterly Progress Review meeting this month (June) it asked Pan India pointedly about its exploration plans, especially since the long-delayed environmental clearance arrived on March 28, 2016.

"We hoped Pan India could begin drilling within days of the environmental clearance," he says. "But now they say drilling will begin only after the monsoon." What excuse does Pan India have for the delay? When this report tried to contact Pan India chief Darshan Singh on June 8, his mobile was switched off all day.

But on June 10, when this report tried again, his mobile was switched on. "We're not beginning drilling just now," Singh confirmed.

When pressed, he said, "There are some procedural issues." But when asked what these issues were, he shot back, "What I wanted to say I've said. Now I don't want to tell you what the issues are!" Pan India's drilling programme was originally scheduled to begin after the monsoon in 2014 but was held up because of delayed environmental clearance.

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