Oil India plans 'wildcat' on Arunachal border

Vol 20, PW 15 (20 Apr 17) Exploration & Production

Oil India can at last begin exploring frontier NELP-IX block AA-ONN-2010/3 on Assam's remote eastern border with Arunachal Pradesh.

On April 12, state chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on a visit to Delhi formally invited Narendra Modi to inaugurate the keenly-awaited 9.15-km Dhola-Sadiya bridge across the Lohit River, paving the way for Oil India to drill 'Wildcat' well Sadiya-1. "The economic feasibility of this block," writes Oil India in a March 17, 2016 pre-feasibility report, "is truly dependent on completion of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge." Very soon, that dependence will disappear.

Sonowal's office tells us that bar two 10-km approach roads construction of Asia's longest bridge is complete and ready for use. May 24, he adds, is the tentative inauguration date.

When open the Dhola-Sadiya bridge will cut journey time from the block to (Oil India HQ at) Duliajan to just one hour, says Oil India. Rigs and drilling equipment that would otherwise cross the Lohit river on flimsy wooden ferries designed to carry a maximum two cars can now be deployed to location by road.

"Future projects across the Lohit river will become easier and Arunachal Pradesh will come closer," adds an Oil India source. "Cost overruns can be avoided and logistics simplified." Oil India wants to drill Sadiya-1 to explore Barail and possibly deeper Lakadong or Therria/Langpar prospects.

Four appraisal wells are proposed if a discovery.

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