Another gas discovery by Belford Dolphin for ONGC

Vol 9, PW 23 (09 Mar 06) Exploration & Production

Belford Dolphin has made its second consecutive deepwater gas discovery for ONGC at eastern offshore block KG-DWN-98/2, where Cairn Energy has a 10% stake.

This second discovery comes after an uninterrupted run of 14 dry holes since Belford was hired in November 2003. PETROWATCH learns the second gas discovery was made at location W-1, where Belford is sitting in 1280 metres water depth and came as a very pleasant surprise.

ONGC had reached target depth of 2640 metres by the end of February and by the first week of March had almost finished logging. ONGC had lost all hope and was about to give up this well as a dry hole when the logs indicated hydrocarbons at 2170 metres, says a source.

This vindicated ONGCs initial optimism that W-1 is a good prospect. Logs indicate the zone will be good.

Plans to give up the well and move to another location were abandoned and instead ONGC began drawing up the testing protocol. One zone will be tested at 2170 metres, we hear.

The exact interval is being worked out. Testing should begin around 10th March and continue for a week.

Separately, Discoverer Seven Seas the other drillship on hire to ONGC has reported a dry hole at her Tuticorin location (offshore Cauvery basin) where she sits in 700 metres water and drilled to 3050 metres. The abandonment plug was put in place and Discoverer moved out on 1st March and is expected at her new location on 8th March.

Discoverers new location is E-1 on KG-DWN-98/2 where she will sit in 650 metres water and drill to 3300 metres in a 25-day programme. E-1 is one of nine prospects jointly selected at KG-DWN-98/2 with Cairn Energy.

Of the nine prospects, U-1, A-1, D-1 and W-1 have been already drilled. All of them were discoveries.

The best so far, we are told, was D-1, which was Discoverers first well on the block. But ONGC had to give up testing plans and abandon the well in September 2005 after the drillships dynamic positioning system failed during a power failure.