Belford plugs well and moves to DW-RO-1A

Vol 7, PW 25 (10 Mar 04) Exploration & Production

On 4th March, ONGC moved its deepwater drillship Belford Dolphin to a new well location further away from the maritime boundary with Pakistan because it hasnt yet received formal clearance from the ministry of external affairs.

The new location, DW-RO-1A in the Gulf of Kutch, replaces the earlier decided KS-8 location, which sits near the Indo-Pakistan international maritime boundary in the disputed Sir Creek area. DW-RO-1A is 70 nautical miles away from GK-DW-A-A, where Belford has just finished drilling.

A source tells PETROWATCH that ONGC has plugged and abandoned GK-DW-A-A. ONGC is not interested in keeping it alive, he said.

We are a little upset with the first well turning dry but as geologists we cannot afford to lose hope. Maybe the next location could store a big find! Before abandoning the well, Belford drilled 20 metres more than its target depth of 6,030 metres at GK-DW-A-A.

This could be classified as the deepest well drilled ever in Indian waters, he added. On 5th March, Belford spud its second well at 21.30pm (IST) at DW-RO-1A.

Belford will spud wells within a well in the form of multiple targets at the new location. There are two wells to be drilled in one well.

The first one is at a shallow target of 2,500 metres and the second is deeper at about 6,500 metres, he said. The first shallow horizon looks prospective.

If we strike hydrocarbons, we may terminate the drilling early and immediately start well testing. Meanwhile, on the east coast Transoceans deepwater drillship Discoverer Seven Seas spud its first well, KD-1-3, on 27th February, four days behind the original schedule.

There were no problem from Transoceans side, another ONGC source said. ONGC wanted Seven Seas to carry out a few more pre-drill tests.

The source clarified that no penalty would be levied on Transocean since Seven Seas had reached the KG-OS-DW offshore block before 25th February. Seven Seas will spud the well to target depths of 3,700 metres.

The well is to be drilled as a directional well in L profile with a kick-off at 2,070 metres to achieve a horizontal drift of 790 metres, ONGC said.

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