OVL poised to drill two Bangladesh 'wildcats'

Vol 21, PW 18 (14 Jun 18) Exploration & Production

Six years after it won two blocks in Bangladesh, ONGC Videsh is finally preparing to begin drilling exploration wells.

A senior OVL source tells us the company wants to drill a single exploration well at the onland portion of its 7269-sq km SS-04 block in the offshore Bengal Basin. "Pre-project activities are underway at the drilling site," he says.

"Civil construction work is in progress." He adds OVL is ready with a 2000-hp land rig hired from China's Sinopec, which coincidentally also carried out a 3008-lkm 2D survey across SS-04 and OVL's adjacent SS-09 block using Ocean Bottom Cable (OBC) technology last fiscal (2016-2017).

OVL wants to begin drilling the onland well at SS-04 this year (2018) after monsoon rains subside in October targeting Miocene-era gas-bearing Bhuban geological formations at 3700 metres TD. OVL is simultaneously preparing a tender to hire a jack-up to drill an offshore exploration well at the adjacent 7026-sq km SS-O9 block for which it has received official government sanction.

"The location of this well has been approved by Petrobangla (Bangladesh Minerals, Oil and Gas Corporation)," we hear. Located in water depths of less than 20 metres, this well will be drilled to 3000 metres TD also targeting Bhuban formations.

OVL is likewise finalising tenders to hire a contractor to carry out geotechnical, geophysical and soil studies before drilling begins.

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