Vol 3, PW 12 (07 Jul 99) Exploration & Production

One area where ONGC hopes to find that "big strike" is in the Krishna Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh on the east coast of India.

This report learns ONGC is particularly excited about the oil prospectivity of the Kesenapalli area of the Krishna Godavari basin. "We have made good discoveries in Kesenapalli onshore and believe this could extend to the shallow waters and sands of Kesenapalli offshore", said one source at ONGC, "We are now according a very high priority to this region and diverting more resources there".

The source adds that ONGC is disappointed with its efforts in the deep waters of the Krishna Godavari (PW Vol 3, Issue 11 "STILL NO SIGN OF SUCCESS IN THE DEEP WATER") and is hoping for "compensation" in the shallow waters. He said ONGC is gradually shifting its focus of attention form the Bombay Offshore to the east coast and the largely unexplored Krishna Godavari basin.

One example: ONGC recently decided to charter a met-drill rig to drill in the shallow waters of the Bombay High. This rig will be diverted to the Kesenapalli offshore to drill in water depths of between eight and 10 metres.

Another area where ONGC is hoping for success is in the troubled north-eastern state of Nagaland, a former no-go area because of its long-standing insurgency. Today ONGC is confident it can resume drilling operation in Nagaland within "three to four months".

In its talks with state officials, ONGC notices a deep willingness to allow the corporation back in after it was forced to leave because of terrorism in 1997. "The Nagaland home secretary had meetings with us and the government wants drilling to resume soon", said the source, "We believe the peace talks (with rebel groups) will be successful which is why the state government is keen for us to be back".