ONGC poised for $117m Assam well campaign

Vol 20, PW 6 (01 Dec 16) Exploration & Production

After talking about it for three years, ONGC is at last ready to begin drilling 27 exploration and nine development wells in Assam at an estimated cost of Rs780cr ($117m).

These details have emerged from an ONGC drilling proposal submitted to the environment ministry on November 1 and accepted the next day. All 26 exploration wells are planned at the Cachar Forward Base: 11 in the 732-sq km Cachar district PML; five in the 497-km Sector-VC PML; four each in the 4-sq km Adamtila and 67-sq km North Patharia PMLs and two at the 15-sq km Banaskandi PML.

All these 26 wells will be drilled to 3000 metres or basement. One more exploration well is planned separately at the 1277-sq km AA-ONJ/2 block.

In addition ONGC is also planning nine development wells in North Patharia, Banaskandi, Adamtila and the yet-to-be carved out 383.5-sq km Adamtila Extension PML. Expect drilling to begin in late 2017 after land acquisition is completed.

With luck environmental clearance will come by February 2017 though these things are never certain. Each well will take three to four months to drill and 50 workmen in two shifts will be employed at the site.

ONGC says all the PMLs lie in the proven petroliferous Assam-Arakan basin which includes the Assam Shelf, Belt of Schuppen and the Assam-Arakan fold belt as its geological features. Cachar district lies on Assam's border with Manipur and Mizoram with parts of it also bordering Meghalaya.

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