Essar set to drill CBM coreholes at Rajmahal

Vol 19, PW 22 (14 Jul 16) Exploration & Production

Finally all necessary clearances have come in so Mumbai-based Essar Oil can begin drilling coreholes at its Rajmahal CBM block in Jharkhand, awarded in 2010 under the fourth CBM licensing round.

"We have the PEL and the forest and environment ministry clearances," confirms an Essar source. "We're now in the process of receiving location-specific consent to drill.

" Essar will drill 30 coreholes in 2016-17 using its own coring rig. It describes the 1128-sq km Rajmahal block as a "low risk, high reward" area, based on a resource assessment carried out by US-based Advanced Resources International and the DGH's reserves estimate of 91-bcm of gas.

Meanwhile, Essar is optimistic it can ramp up production at its Raniganj East CBM block in West Bengal from 1m cm/d at present to 1.5m cm/d after drilling another 70 wells. So far the company has drilled 300 wells but only 190 are producing, though 275 have been fracked, completed and cemented for production.

"About 150 wells have been drilled in the past 18 months," boasts our company source. Essar's initial field development plan envisaged 370 wells drilled.

It now plans to drill the remaining 70 wells in 2016-17 for Rs500cr ($75m). Essar has four rigs deployed at Raniganj: two of its own and two from Greka Drilling.

Essar will deploy two more of its own rigs at the block by end-July.

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