Reliance prepares first well at pre-NELP Cambay block

Vol 11, PW 19 (07 Feb 08) Exploration & Production

Reliance is set to begin a three-well exploration programme at Cambay Basin pre-NELP block CB-ON/1, where it is operator with 40%, alongside Tullow Oil with 50% and US-based Okland Oil, which holds 10% â€کcarried’ interest.

PETROWATCH learns Reliance has set March 31 as the tentative spud date (“plus or minus a few days here and thereâ€‌) for its first well in the southern portion of the block using a newly built 1500-hp onland rig imported from the US by Indian drilling contractor John Energy. Likely to last four months, the three-well drilling campaign at this 4000-sq km block exceeds the one-well Phase-I commitment in the PSC.

“This is a huge block and very prospective,â€‌ we hear. “Drilling two additional wells is technically and commercially justifiable.

â€‌ Reliance is thinking of a possible fourth well at CB-ON/1 but is yet to secure official approval or identify a drilling location. “This block is much more prospective than the well commitment would suggest,â€‌ adds a source.

“These initial three wells will evaluate the entire prospective section of the area.â€‌ Reliance and partners Tullow and Okland have long touted the prospectivity of CB-ON/1, located immediately south of Cairn India’s massive discoveries in the Barmer Basin and immediately north of equally promising smaller ONGC fields in the Cambay Basin.

“There are a number of similar producing horizons in both the Cambay and Barmer Basins,â€‌ we hear. “All the targets are Tertiary or Cenozoic age rocks.

â€‌ Reliance’s three initial wells on this block will first target the Kalol formation, followed by deeper Olpad formations. In September last year Reliance won Management Committee approval for the three-well drilling programme, which it initially wanted to begin in January.

Reliance farmed into CB-ON/1 in July 2004 and has since acquired 1500-lkm 2D seismic – almost triple the PSC commitment of 600-lkm. As a pre-NELP block that once belonged to ONGC, the state-owned explorer has the right to â€کback-in’ 30% on any commercial discovery at CB-ON/1.

Phase-II of exploration work programme, lasting two years, ends on September 20 this year.