Pandian unhappy with progress of drilling at KG block

Vol 11, PW 20 (21 Feb 08) People & Policy

GSPC managing director DJ Pandian is unhappy with the pace and progress of drilling at offshore discovery block KG-OSN-2001/3.

So unhappy that he has tightened personal supervision over the project. PETROWATCH learns Pandian’s disquiet stems from a failure by the KG project team to meet several key internal deadlines set for the end of last December.

Most pressing of these, we hear, was preparation of a development plan for the Deen Dayal gas discovery. Equally important is the continued failure of semi-submersible Essar Wildcat to spud well KG#19.

“Pandian is upset with the slow pace of drilling and repeated equipment failures,â€‌ says a source. Take, for example, the time taken to drill exploration wells KG#22 and KG#31.

Atwood Beacon spud KG#31 on September 19 last year and started a second sidetrack on December 28, while Deep Driller-1 spud KG#22 the previous month, on August 30. TD for KG#31 is around 5000 metres, but late last week the drill bit reached only 3800 metres.

TD for KG#22 is around 6000 metres but the bit is still around 4800 metres only. “It is taking too much time to drill these two shallow water wells,â€‌ we hear.

More than 30% of the total days spent on KG#22 are â€کnon productive’ while the figure for KG#31 is more than 20%. “This â€کnon productive time’ is not due to service companies,â€‌ adds a source.

Pandian, it seems, senses a lack of urgency at various levels of the project team. Also contributing to his unhappiness is feedback from companies who visited the GSPC dataroom during the aborted exercise to â€کfarm-out’ 30% of the block to a strategic partner.

“Many people could not understand the data,â€‌ we are told. “Most of the data was presented in a disorganised manner and in some cases there were multiple copies of the same data.

â€‌ Pandian has now, we hear, decided to take a more â€کhands-on’ approach by asking “very aggressive and probing questionsâ€‌ during daily and weekly meetings to review work on the block. In the past he mainly sat through and listened.