Redevelopment of PY-3 under consideration

Vol 4, PW 16 (13 Sep 00) Exploration & Production

Will ONGC's dispute with the oil ministry hold up redevelopment of PY-3 That's a question members of the Hardy Exploration-led consortium want answered.

This report learns that the operator Hardy (18%) Tata Petrodyne (21%) and Hindustan Exploration (21%) are in full agreement about the need to embark on a redevelopment of PY-3, a "mature" oilfield, where production has dropped from an average 11-12,000 barrels a day (b/d) in 1997 to 4,600 b/d today. But approval from ONGC (40%) - the largest shareholder - is required before this can begin, and so far, it has not been forthcoming.

This may be about to change. Petrowatch understands from a reliable source that ONGC's board is set to consider approval of a redevelopment programme at PY-3 - but only when technical studies are complete to the satisfaction of all joint venture partners.

There is cautious optimism in some quarters that the redevelopment will go ahead on its own merit whether ONGC gets compensated for cess or not. At the field itself, Hardy has arrested the decline in production.

The reservoir pressure is still understood to be above bubble point pressure - the stage at which gas first begins to be liberated from the oil. An expert tells Petrowatch that under saturated reservoirs of this type typically produce only 2-5% above bubble point whereas the PY-3 field has already produced 15% of the original oil in place.

"This is very unusual and shows that PY-3 is a complex field capable of producing a lot more than originally forecasted."

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