Actinia to drill 8 wells for Reliance at NEC-OSN-97/2

Vol 10, PW 13 (19 Oct 06) Exploration & Production

Reliance believes NEC-25 could hold more hydrocarbons than the in-place estimate of 5-tcf already discovered.

Varying estimates about the potential of the block circulate but for now the only confirmed news is that Reliance is gearing up to drill another eight exploration wells. Two of them will delineate the discoveries made so far in the development area while the other six will be rank exploration wells, drilled to the east of the earlier discoveries.

As you go east the water depth increases and one can expect more drilling complications, we hear. This is the way to go as the petroleum systems in this region move from west to east in line with the pattern of sediment deposition.

Reliance, like operators the world over, is suffering from the severe shortage of drilling rigs. NEC-25 is ideal jack-up territory, given the shallow water depth, but no jack-ups are available, we are told.

Instead, Reliance plans to deploy Transocean semi-submersible Actinia, which is drilling her third well (KG-3-6) for Reliance at eastern offshore KG basin NELP-III exploration block KG-OSN-2001/2, where Hardy Oil owns 10%. If no more wells are assigned to the rig after the present well Actinia will be deployed to NEC-25 in November or December to begin the drilling campaign, says an industry source.

Everything depends on what happens at the well shes drilling now. KG-OSN-2001/2 is a prospective block and in most likelihood Reliance will assign another well to Actinia.

If that happens Actinia will be sent to NEC-25 only in the early part of 2007, adds our source. These things cannot be predicted so early.

Plans to move to another location or stay put are sometimes changed (by Reliance) the night before. Still, Reliance is acutely conscious of the challenges in using a semi-submersible in jack-up territory.

The biggest headache will be using the semis sub-sea BOP (Blow Out Preventer) we are told. This is also a safety issue.

This is a big headache the world over when semis are used in place of jack-ups. Theres no choice but to handle it.