ONGC plans 37 deepwater wells over next two years

Vol 6, PW 7 (05 Jun 02) Exploration & Production

DEEPWATER MANIA HAS gripped ONGC in a big way! We understand India's No.

1 explorer wants to drill 37 deepwater wells in the 16 months between December 2002 and April 2003 - a huge increase on the half a dozen it has drilled over the past five years. Twenty-two wells are planned for the west coast, ten for the east coast and five delineation wells.

All are in water depths of between 1,000 to 3,000 metres. Sadly, the prime motive for this sudden burst of deepwater enthusiasm has little to do with new data showing fresh pays; more with a DGH threat to confiscate ONGC's deepwater acreage unless it's seen to be doing some work! That said, ONGC wants to spud its next deepwater well by the end of the year and has begun selecting contractors.

On 24th May a team of senior ONGC drilling officials held a day-long brainstorming session in Mumbai with ten drilling contractors ahead of global tenders later this month. ONGC's deepwater schedule runs like this: 30th June - sale of tender documents 15th August - deadline for submission of bids 15th October - bids to be finalised 15th November - contracts signed Most of the wells earmarked for this year and next will be drilled on the west coast; only two or three on the east coast.

Water depth No of wells Start date 1,000-1,500 12 Dec 02 or Jan 03 1,500-2,500 12 Dec 02 or Jan 03 2,500-3,000 13 March 03 or April 03 Total 37

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