Cairn begins development drilling at Gauri gasfield

Vol 7, PW 5 (21 May 03) Exploration & Production

CAIRN AND its partners at CB-OS/2 are in dispute with the DGH over the number of development wells required at its Gauri gasfield.

Cairn believes four wells are needed but the DGH thinks three are enough until proof emerges of the need for a fourth. More, the DGH insists it can only permit cost recovery for a fourth well if Cairn can prove it was really needed.

Frustrated, Cairn has begun drilling anyway - using Rig Ensco-54 - hoping the issue will be resolved with time. Cairn has grouped its five objectives for CB-OS/2 during 2003-04 into three sections: Exploration of new areas on the block in areas other than the discovered fields and to assess the oil potential of Lakshmi and Gauri fields Development of Gauri gasfield Continuing Lakshmi gas production and recruitment of personnel for gas production from Gauri Cairn wants to continue the programme of new exploration and oil appraisal it began in 2002-03.

It spudded two exploration oil wells at Lakshmi and one at 'prospect K' towards the end of 2002-03 and drilling spilled over into 2003-04. Two of these were dry andwere abandoned last month.

Cairn has also set aside funds in 2003-04 for the likely drilling of: A third Lakshmi oil well Three shallow exploration wells in the 'transition zone' One vertical Gauri oil well Two exploration wells in other areas of the block. Drilling of these seven 'likely' wells will depend on the results of ongoing 2D and geological studies.

The $55m development of the Gauri gasfield and supporting facilities is the single biggest item in Cairn's CB-OS/2 budget for 2003-04. Below are details of Cairn's planned four wells (or three if the DGH refuses the fourth) at Gauri: Gauri-1 is a vertical well now being drilled to the Tarkeshwar sands in 8 1/2-inch hole and open hole completion Gauri-2 will be deviated at 60-degrees and drilled to the Babaguru sands also in 8 1/2-inch hole and open hole completion Gauri-3 will also have the same design and target as Gauri-2.

Both these wells could also be drilled to the Tarkeshwar sands and completed in a 'cased' hole Gauri-4, will be a long-reach well deviated at nearly 90-degrees and drilled to Babaguru sands in 8 1/2-inch hole and open hole completion