Oil India wins PEL for OALP block AA-ONHP-2018/5

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

Hardly six months after signing the contract, Oil India has secured its coveted Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) for OALP-3 block AA-ONHP-2018/5 in south Tripura - paving the way for exploration to begin.

"The letter was signed on October 16 but we came to know only much later," confirms an Oil India source. "The PEL process was fast-tracked; we applied for a seven-year PEL, let's see how long it is valid?" Our source adds Oil India is now racing against time to draft seismic and other tender documents so work can begin at this 208-sq km gas-prone block - where Oil India is operator with 100% - before the good weather window or 'field season' ends in April next year (2020).

"Had the PEL come earlier it would have been much better," we hear. "By the time we issue the tenders and sign contracts we will be in the middle of the 'field season' (from October to April)."

Oil India's immediate priority is to issue a tender for fresh seismic to complement 105.51-lkm old 2D shot by ONGC before it won the block with a series of internal meetings planned shortly to see how fast a tender can be released. Normal practice is to issue tenders before the 'field season' begins in October, we hear.

"Usually oil companies in the northeast try to coincide contract awards before the field season from October to April."