No good news from Belford as drilling continues

Vol 8, PW 3 (05 May 04) Exploration & Production

Good luck continues to elude ONGC as deepwater drillship Belford Dolphin gets closer to drilling a second consecutive dry well at deepwater location DW-RO-1A in the Gulf of Kutch.

By 30th April, Belford had drilled up to 4,000 metres, still short of the target depth 6,553 metres. As of now it does not look good, a source tells PETROWATCH.

We have just finished cementing the 9 5/8 casing. So far we failed to strike anything.

Further drilling might hold some good news. ONGC has changed its schedule as the company is unable to finalise Belfords next location.

Instead of moving to a new location Belford will spud a pilot hole in the current location. Sometime next month, depending upon the success of the present well, Belford would be moved a few 100 metres away to spud into water depths nearing 1,000 metres.

Dont lost hope, says an ONGC official. Remember Belford is still 2,000 metres away from its target depth.

But with no news from the government on the controversial KS-8 location, which sits near the Indo-Pakistan maritime border in Kutch offshore, ONGC is still unsure whether to release a new location or await the oil ministrys clearance. We might give up KS-8 if clearance does not arrive before Belford completes the present well, says an ONGC official.

Internally, ONGCs deepwater team is discussing three other locations in the Kutch offshore: GS-DW-2A, GS-DW-3 and GS-DW5. Separately, Transocean drillship Discoverer Seven Seas has drilled up to 3,072 metres in ONGCs eastern offshore deepwater location KD-1-3 located on block KG-OS-DW.

Seven Seas is sitting in 1,400 metres water depth and target depth is 3,941 metres. ONGC has informally told Dolphin Drilling and Transocean that it plans to switch deployment of their drillships from west coast to east coast and vice-versa.

By the end of this year Belford will be moved to the eastern offshore and Seven Seas will proceed to the western offshore.

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