Unocal study helps ONGC drill for oil in Tripura

Vol 5, PW 1 (28 Feb 01) Exploration & Production

In Tripura meanwhile, ONGC is planning to drill two wells in the Longtharai structure located in the northernmost sub-division of Dharmanagar, close to Assam's Cachar district and Tullow's AA-ONJ/1 concession.

These two wells are part of a 21-well drilling programme - which initially focussed on south and west Tripura and the promising Satchand and Agartala Dome structures - but has now shifted to the Dharmanagar area. Why According to a study carried out for ONGC by Unocal, and now diligently studied by ONGC, the northern slopes of Dharmanagar have a good chance of yielding oil.

ONGC has so far drilled more than 90 wells in Tripura with a 50% success rate in striking gas, but an oil strike has so far eluded it. ONGC sources on the ground say plans to drill two wells in Dharmanagar are spurred by a recent directive to strike oil.

Tullow, with two concession nearby, will be watching progress carefully. Any positive result in the ONGC block would significantly improve the exploration potential in its blocks, where similar structures are mapped.

"We have bright chances for an oil strike," reveals a senior ONGC geologist, "But commercial exploitation depends on technical and commercial factors."

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