Vol 3, PW 10 (09 Jun 99) Exploration & Production

For a company which has so little to show for its presence in India in terms of oil production, Tullow Oils enthusiasm for the region is puzzling.

Tullow has interests in a total of seven exploration concessions in India, making it the countrys largest foreign holder of exploration acreage. Over the next two years it is expected to pump in between $20-25m in exploration money on its most promising block, GK-OSJ/1, offshore Gujarat, which it operates in an alliance with Larsen & Toubro (L&T), an engineering firm.

Tullow is waiting for ONGC and oil ministry approval to acquire L&Ts stake in GK-OSJ/1, making it majority holder with 75% and ONGC holding the balance 25%. At present, L&T and Tullow each have 37.5%.

Tullow has just completed a 3D seismic shoot of GK-OSJ/1, using a GeoPrakla rig, earlier on hire to ONGC. Total cost of the shoot and accompanying analysis - now underway - is expected to be in the region of $1.2m.

Tullow is also seeking permission to acquire L&Ts stake in the KG-ON/1 block, onshore Krishna Godavari, leaving Tullow in complete control as operator with 100%. At present, L&T and Tullow each have 50% stake in this block.

A Production Sharing Contract (PSC) was signed with the Indian oil ministry last year, but the mining lease from the Andhra Pradesh government is yet to come through. In April Tullow and L&T formalised an agreement to jointly work on all of Tullows concessions in India.

In the same month, the Indian oil ministry approved Tullows proposal for a farm-in to three Indian concessions belonging to the tiny Oklahoma-based explorer, Okland Oil.