BG wants more data northeast of BB-OS/5

Vol 6, PW 24 (12 Feb 03) Exploration & Production

BRITISH GAS WILL probably take another week to decide if it wants to farm in to the Petrom-operated offshore Mumbai exploration block BB-OS/5.

We learn a 7th February meeting between the BB-OS/5 consortium and BG saw little progress despite expectations to the contrary. At the meeting BG was non-committal on whether it would farm-in and asked for more data.

The data in question is not held by the BB-OS/5 consortium but with ONGC and relates to the "open space" north-east of the block and adjacent to the Tapti gasfield, where BG is interim operator. In the 1980s ONGC drilled three or four wells in the "open space" and BG believes ONGC had some gas shows but decided to cap and abandon the wells as it evidently did not consider the gas quantities to be commercially viable.

"They did not even carry out further investigations," we are told. "BG probably is looking to co-relate the producing wells from Tapti with possible production from BB-OS/5." Last week the BB-OS/5 consortium wrote to ONGC and the DGH requesting access to "seismic profiles" east of the block.

If ONGC agrees to share the data and BG finds it promising, expect movement sometime next week. Otherwise, BG will walk away leaving Petrom to find another buyer.

BG was the only company among 13 that expressed interest in the 9,095-sq km BB-OS/5 block. Petrom claims the block holds about 7 trillion cubic feet gas of which 4.6tcf is recoverable.

Surprisingly, Reliance shows no interest even though it has several exploration blocks in the vicinity of BB-OS/5.