Reliance hires two more rigs for Sohagpur CBM blocks

Vol 10, PW 21 (22 Feb 07) Exploration & Production

Reliance Industries is determined to put its CBM blocks at Sohagpur East and West in Madhya Pradesh on production as soon as possible.

PETROWATCH learns Reliance has hired another two rigs from Indian contractor John Energy to develop its Sohagpur discoveries. “One of the John rigs is for exploration using 'air drilling technology',â€‌ says a well-placed source.

“The second is a workover rig.â€‌ Contacted by PETROWATCH, John Energy confirms that drilling rig John-15, which has been hired to Reliance, is an exploration rig of approximately 780-horsepower, and has been hired for six months to drill up to 14 wells.

John Energy’s second rig hired to Reliance is John-2, a workover rig of approximately 480-horsepower, which has been hired for 11 months. During that time, John-2 is expected to drill approximately 45 to 50 wells.

Reliance has already contracted two rigs from Mitchell Drilling of Australia to drill 24 wells at Sohagpur East and West until September this year. “During this phase of drilling Reliance will drill up to 35 wells,â€‌ adds a source.

“They are drilling a well every four to five days and want to complete the campaign before April.â€‌ Out of the 35 wells planned, Reliance hopes to drill at least 15 by the end of this month (February).

Reliance is drilling wells at Sohagpur West to a depth of 600 metres and at Sohagpur East wells to depths of up to 1000 metres. At both blocks, which sit adjacent to each other, Reliance is targeting the Barkar coal formation.

Ten old wells from Sohagpur are already producing gas, some of it to generate power for internal consumption; the rest is flared. Reliance is preparing a development plan for DGH approval and is targeting first commercial CBM production from Sohagpur in 2008-09.

Awarded under India's first CBM licensing round in 2001, Reliance signed PSCs for Sohagpur East and West on 26th June 2002 and later announced in-place gas resources at 3.65-tcf, a figure endorsed by the DGH. Sohagpur East holds 1.69-tcf and Sohagpur West holds 1.96-tcf.