John Energy wins Baghewala drilling contract

Vol 20, PW 13 (23 Mar 17) Exploration & Production

Oil India has long dreamt of making money from heavy oil deposits at its Baghewala field in Rajasthan and it seems it is now inching ever closer to that goal.

This report learns a 1000-hp John Energy rig is expected to mobilise to the field by May after Oil India awarded a Rs23.47cr ($3.5m) contract on February 6 for one 'firm' year plus an 'optional' one-year extension. "The contract has gone to John Energy," confirms an Oil India source.

Kolkata-based newcomer Arihant Cargo Carriers came second, adds Oil India. A John source says talks with Oil India went on for three months.

"But we have now won the rig contract," he confirms. Five months ago on October 18, 2016 Oil India received bids from six companies including Essar Oilfield Services and Quippo.

Ahmedabad-based Rasson Energy and Delhi-based Top Hydrocarbon Projects with Shiv Vani were disqualified on technical grounds. In the days ahead John's rig crew must prepare for harsh weather conditions in the Thar Desert where temperatures reach 54 degrees Celsius.

Oil India wants to drill 20 development wells at Baghewala: eight are likely to be drilled in 2017-18. Also planned are five development wells at the nearby Dandewala PML.

Baghewala is believed to hold 34m tonnes of in-place heavy oil at 500 metres and 14m tonnes of in-place oil at 1600 metres with an API gravity ranging from 14.7 to 21.8 degrees.

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