Oil India plans 7 extended reach wells in Assam

Vol 19, PW 25 (25 Aug 16) Exploration & Production

ExxonMobil subsidiary Neftegas today holds the world record for extended reach drilling.

Oil India too wants to make a name for itself by using this state-of-the-art technique to bypass environmental concerns in the eco-sensitive Tinsukia district of Assam. With great difficulty, Oil India won environment ministry Terms of Reference (ToR) on August 3 for a proposed Rs280cr ($42m) seven-well drilling programme at its 75-sq km Baghjan licence.

In focus are promising sub-surface leads under the 350-sq km Dibru-Saikhowa National Park - parts of which overlap Baghjan. Oil India hopes to do this by drilling very long horizontal wells - imagine using a long straw to reach across a room and sip somebody else's drink and you can understand what Oil India hopes to achieve.

Happiest of all will be the park's endangered Hoolock gibbons, capped langurs, tigers, elephants and gangetic river dolphins that can carry on with their lives undisturbed. "We'll soon submit an EIA/EMP (environmental management planning) report," Oil India tells us.

"We've identified well coordinates and depths for seven locations and hope to begin drilling by the end of 2016-17 once environmental clearance is received." Wells will be directionally drilled to 3800-4000 metres beneath the forest surface targeting Langpar, Lakadong, Theria and Narpuh formations. Oil India is expected to invite offers from companies that can help it plan well construction.