Reliance plans third well at KG-DWN-98/3

Vol 6, PW 8 (19 Jun 02) Exploration & Production

BUOYED BY INITIAL success, Reliance is planning a third well at its deepwater KG-DWN-98/3 exploration block offshore eastern India.

So far the company has drilled one well, and is now drilling a second. The first was spudded mid-April in 650 metres water depth and completed in the first week of June.

Then the Transocean drillship Discoverer 534 began drilling a second well nearby in water depths of 1,340 metres. Reliance doesn't want to release information about target depth and other parameters, claiming this is privileged information.

We understand the second well underway now will be completed in four weeks when Reliance will begin the third well. Reliance's original plan - sent to the oil ministry in February - was to drill two 'firm' wells in a 75-day drilling programme and four 'optional' wells.

Its third well is the first of these 'optional.' wells," reveals an industry source. "Reliance has exercised the first of the optional wells and the contract with Transocean has been extended to cover a third well." Unclear is if Reliance plans more wells.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Reliance has struck gas in good quantities in the first exploration well itself. One number circulating is 90bn cubic metres.

If true this would be a remarkable stroke of beginners luck for Reliance, which has made KG-DWN-98/3 its entry into the expensive business of deepwater exploration. Reliance has committed to spend a total $145.75m in its three-phase work programme - $37.45m in 'Phase-1', $44.15m in 'Phase-II' and $64.15m in 'Phase-III'.