Green light for 15-well ONGC Son Valley campaign

Vol 23, PW 2 (14 Nov 19) Exploration & Production

ONGC has selected 15 potential drilling locations for a proposed Rs600cr ($83m) exploration campaign at the NOHTA-DAMOH-JABERA PML block in Madhya Pradesh.

Expect drilling to begin by early 2020 with a company-owned ONGC rig after the environment ministry's Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) gave in-principle clearance on October 25. A source tells us ONGC won't need special state or central government approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 because none of the proposed 15 locations sit inside forest areas - unlike its original plan outlined in a February 3 (2017) pre-feasibility report where it proposed 10 wells in non-forest areas and five in forested areas.

This block has 12 reserved forest or protected areas but no national parks or wildlife sanctuaries within a 10-km radius. Our source adds drilling locations are in low vegetation areas, away from human habitation, ecologically sensitive areas or migratory bird routes.

"Accessing drilling sites will be easy," he adds. Nine wells will be drilled in Jabera: NOAE at Patti Bhajiya village, DL-4 at Kuluwa, DL-5 at Baheriya, DL-6 at Paraswaha, DL-8 at Bagalwara, DL-10 at Devri, DL-11 at Bhaiskar, DL-12 at Hinoti Khetsingh and DL-13 at Tanvari village.

Three will be drilled in the Damoh area: DL-1 at Dhanauwa, DL-2 at Arora and DL-14 at Rampura. Two will be drilled in the Patharia area: DL-3 at Guwari and DL-9 at Kaniyaghat Pati.

One well (DL-7) will be drilled at Kusmi village in Patera.