Watch out for Indiaآ’s next big oil and gas discovery

Vol 7, PW 15 (08 Oct 03) Exploration & Production

If you thought Indiahad seenthe last of its deepwater discoveries after Reliances 14 trillion cubic feet find at KG-DWN-98/3 in the Krishna Godavari, think again! Next door at Gujarat State Petroleums KG-OSN-2001/3 block, expect a discovery that could reduce to insignificance earlier announcements by ONGC, Cairn, and Reliance from the same area.

One industry source even predicts that KG-OSN-2001/3 could result in a discovery that will change the face of the Indian oil and gas industry and the country at large. Clearly it would, even if results show less than half the staggering 44-tcf in-place figure that GSPC and partners GeoGlobal of Canada and Jubilant Enpro used in their successful bid for this 1,850-sq km block, which lies on the coast of Andhra Pradesh, in water depths of up to 400 metres.

Already, it's looking good. On 23rd September, GeoGlobal announced that PGS has begun processing 1,298-sq km 3D shot between 26th March and 9th June at a cost of $10m.

Interpretation of the PGS data is underway in Gandhinagar, where GSPC has a 10-man team working exclusively on the project. Also, reservoir consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton is interpreting the PGS data with instructions to submit a new estimate of in-place reserves.

Jason Geosystems of Canada is carrying out reservoir characterisation and modelling studies. By the end of December, GSPC hopes to identify a series of drilling locations for an aggressive back-to-back 14-well drilling programme of between 14-28 months (one month for a dry well, two months for a successful well).

GSPC and its partners want to issue a tender this month for a standard 6-leg jack-up to drill the first well in mid-January next year to a depth of 4,000 metres, conscious that Phase-I of the work programme officially began on 12th March and that, the clock has started ticking. Confident, GSPC's focus is not restricted to striking just gas, or just oil, but both.

Next year the consortium wants to shoot a Transitional Zone Survey over shallow areas of the block not covered by the existing 3D survey. KG-OSN-2001/3 was awarded to GSPC under NELP-III against competing bids from Reliance and ONGC.

Since then, Reliance has been looking on anxiously. Unconfirmed reports indicate it is desperate to farm-in to KG-OSN-2001/3 and has already made several informal requests.