Oil India plans 20-well campaign at Baghewala

Vol 19, PW 23 (28 Jul 16) Exploration & Production

Despite four discoveries Oil India is yet to begin commercial production at its 210-sq km Baghewala heavy oilfield in Rajasthan, which it has held since 1999.

That might change after a proposed 20-well development drilling campaign for which it expects to receive environment ministry clearance by early August. Oil India issued a tender on June 27 to hire a 1000-hp rig for the Baghewala and Dandewala PML areas on a one-year contract extendable by six months setting an August 9 bid deadline.

"We have identified the well coordinates for 20 drilling locations," confirms a company source. All the locations are within the Jaisalmer and Bikaner districts near Pokhran, the site of two nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998.

Oil India will drill both vertical and horizontal wells with drilling depths ranging from 1200 to 2800 metres. Horizontal wells will have a True Vertical Depth (TVD) of 1095 metres and a Measured Well Depth (MWD) of around 1850 metres including a 400-metre horizontal section with an 8.5-inch diameter hole.

An environment ministry source confirms its Expert Appraisal Committee recommended the campaign for clearance on May 27. Oil India will use the rig it hires for this campaign for all its Rajasthan operations.

"We have only 16 in-house drilling rigs" explains Oil India. "So hiring a rig is the only option." Oil India's goal in Rajasthan is to exploit gas from the Jaisalmer basin and heavy oil from the Bikaner-Nagaur basin.