Oil India seismic tender for Rajasthan blocks

Vol 7, PW 11 (13 Aug 03) Exploration & Production

Sometime this week, India's junior state-owned explorer Oil India will float a tender to shoot seismic at its two NELP blocks in Rajasthan.

"It will be a limited tender floated to 13 companies with experience in shooting onland seismic," Oil India tells this report. "And in another two-and-a-half months we want to begin survey work." For both blocks together, Oil India is committed to shoot 250-km 2D and 450-sq km 3D seismic.

Oil India holds 100% stake in NELP-II block RJ-ONN-2000/1 (area: 2,535-sq km) and 70% stake in NELP-III Block RJ-ONN-2001/1 (area: 3,425-sq km) where ONGC holds 30%. During 'Phase-I' of the minimum work programme at RJ-ONN-2000/1, Oil India must acquire, process and interpret 250-km 2D seismic and reprocess 350-km old 2D.

'Phase-II' and 'Phase-III' on this block will see Oil India drill two exploratory wells each to 1,600 metres depth. At RJ-ONN-2001/1, Oil India must acquire process and interpret 350-sq km 3D; reprocess 500-km oil 2D seismic; and, drill three exploratory wells: one each to 1,950 metres, 1,850 metres and 1,800 metres during the three-year 'Phase-I'.

The two-year 'Phase-II' on this block will see Oil India shoot 100-sq km 3D and drill one exploratory well to 1,950 metres depth. 'Phase-III' will see one well to a depth of 1,900 metres.

Elsewhere, Oil India is firm that it wants to quit NELP-I offshore Tamil Nadu block CY-OSN-97/2 for lack of defence ministry clearance to begin exploratory work. "Two months ago, we got a conditional clearance which says that we'll have to pack up and leave the moment the defence ministry asks us to." Oil India feels it would be impossible to carry out any exploratory work under such conditions.

"We want to move out and invest the money (Rs50cr) for this block to some other block." Lack of defence ministry clearance has already prevented Oil India shooting the 400-sq km 3D during the three-year 'Phase-I' for this block where a PSC was signed in 2000.