A 15-well work programme clinches block 15 for Niko

Vol 5, PW 7 (23 May 01) Exploration & Production

Examine the facts and it seems inconceivable Niko would consider leaving India after putting in such aggressive bids for three of the most highly sought after blocks in this round: MB-OSN-2000-1 (Bombay Offshore) WB-OSN-2000-1 (West Bengal offshore) CB-ONN-2000-2 (Gujarat onshore) Niko won't be awarded the Bombay or Bengal offshore blocks, but we can confirm that it will be awarded the 419-sq km Gujarat onshore block after submitting one of the most aggressive work programmes of the entire round! A source confirms that Niko has submitted a massive 15-well work programme for phase one and a smaller but no less significant 5-well work programme for phase two.

A second source reveals that although Niko failed to submit a work programme for phase three "no one in the ministry had the guts to disqualify a company that promises to drill 15 wells!" Other companies that bid for this Gujarat block were Reliance with Hardy, ONGC (alone) and Gujarat Petroleum in an alliance with Joshi Technologies.As for the Bombay and Bengal blocks - both will go to ONGC.