Equipment failure delays Premier well in Cachar

Vol 10, PW 18 (11 Jan 07) Exploration & Production

Unexpected equipment failure has forced UK explorer and operator Premier Oil to put back the spudding date of its first â€کHigh Impact’ well at the Cachar exploration block (CR-ON-90/1) in Assam.

Premier was originally targeting 15th December to spud the Masimpur-3 well but is now expecting to spud sometime this week. PETROWATCH learns damage in transit to Assam of the SCR (Silicon Controlled Rectifier) that provides the electronic control system to the Century-28 drilling rig belonging to Century Resources of Australia is to blame for the delay.

“The SCR is the size of a cargo container,â€‌ we hear. “It’s a sophisticated piece of equipment that controls the mud pumps and other drilling equipment.

â€‌ Analysts will be closely watching Premier’s progress at the 2570-sq km Cachar block, which sits near large gas discoveries in eastern Bangladesh. TD of the deviated Masimpur-3 well will be 3825 metres to the â€کover pressured’ and hitherto unexplored tectonic stress-prone Renji formation, which has defeated earlier attempts by ONGC and the now defunct Burmah Oil Company.

Hopes are high at Premier that Masimpur-3 will uncover in-place gas of 2-tcf with potential upside of 10-tcf across the block. “Two-tcf is the target for this well,â€‌ we hear.

“It has a one in eight chance of uncovering this volume. Premier’s business model provides for a range of uncertainties.

If anything goes wrong with those assumptions then the target (2-tcf) won’t be met. Two-tcf is the size of the prize.

â€‌ Success at Masimpur-3 would result in a domino effect of discoveries across the block, believes Premier. “Ten-tcf is not possible from one prospect but from three or four wells across multiple prospects.

If this prospect (Masimpur-3) works, all the follow-up wells will work too.â€‌