ONGC banned from drilling KS-8 at Sir Creek

Vol 8, PW 10 (11 Aug 04) News in Brief

: Bad news for ONGC: Indias Ministry of External Affairs has turned down its request to spud a deepwater well at the KS-8 location in the disputed Sir Creek area on the international maritime boundary between India and Pakistan.

In a letter to the oil ministry seen by PETROWATCH the MEA categorically denies ONGC permission to drill the well because of its sensitive location close to Pakistans territorial waters. The letter adds that Indias defence ministry has also denied ONGC permission to spud the KS-8 well and that the MEA took advice from Indian naval authorities before deciding.

On 6th August India and Pakistan began talks on demarcating the frontier of the 60-km Sir Creek area between Gujarat in India and Sindh in Pakistan - part of an eight-point dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues. News of the MEA decision is a blow to ONGC, which was hoping to deploy its deepwater Belford Dolphin drillship at KS-8.