GSPC wins approval for three-well appraisal of KG#8

Vol 10, PW 22 (08 Mar 07) Exploration & Production

Gujarat State Petroleum has won DGH approval for a three-well appraisal programme of its Deen Dayal discovery at KG-OSN-2001/3.

Approval came at a technical committee meeting on 27th February. One of two wells (KG#28) presently being drilled at the block is part of the appraisal programme, which is designed to delineate the widely publicised discovery in well KG#8.

On 26th June 2005 Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi announced a 20-tcf gasfield on the block following the discovery. In July last year, the DGH said results from KG#8, drilled to 5061 metres in 60 metres water depth were, “estimated to be to the tune of 0.912-tcf to 3.611-tcf when considered at maximum closure." During the 27th February meeting, DGH officials were given an overview of drilling activity at KG-OSN-2001/3, where rigs Atwood Beacon and Perro Negro 3 are in operation and where Essar Wildcat and Deep Driller-1 are expected later this year.

Based on results from KG#28, GSPC will decide whether to proceed with the two other appraisal wells: PT-13 and PT-17. Last month on 9th February GSPC gave the DGH 30 days notice that it intends to begin Phase-II exploration without relinquishing 25% of the 1850-sq km block area.

Before entering Phase-II, GSPC must relinquish 25% of the block area in line with the PSC. Phase-I ends on 11th March and if the DGH does not respond within 30 days GSPC can assume approval and begin Phase-II.

Some in the oil ministry want to merge the three exploration phases into one. Why “GSPC has made a discovery on this block,â€‌ says a source.

“And for the first time in India in a Cretaceous play.â€‌ GSPC’s exploration period at KG-OSN-2001/3 ends in September 2009.

GSPC has so far drilled five exploration wells and is drilling the sixth: KG#16. As KG#28 is an appraisal well, the DGH might not count it as an exploration well, leaving the company with 14 more to drill.

Four of these wells are in the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary for which GSPC has not yet received environmental clearance.