Oilex starts long-term drilling programme at Cambay

Vol 11, PW 22 (20 Mar 08) Exploration & Production

Australian explorer Oilex is planning a drilling programme of up to 40 wells at the Cambay block in Gujarat, where it is operator with 45% alongside partner GSPC with 55%.

“If the appraisal plan shows success Oilex will drill continuously at Cambay over two years,â€‌ we hear. “Forty is the best estimate of the number of wellsOilex might drill, but it could be less.

â€‌ On March 11, Oilex spud appraisal well C-23Z, the first of a six-well DGH-approved programme at Cambay, after a three-month delay, partly explained by the late arrival and slow commissioning of a newly built 2000-hp rig from Dewanchand Ramsaran. By March 15, the driller had lowered the 13 3/8-inch casing as the â€کdeviated’ C-23Z well reached 598 metres below ground, short of the 2000 metres TD, which Oilex hopes to reach in April.

“Oilex is targeting two zones: a shallow zone at 1500 metres and a deeper zone,â€‌ we learn. “If the shallow zone flows hydrocarbons it will be suspended as a future producer.

â€‌ Oilex reckons each well will take between 25-30 days and that the six-well programme will end in August, when the company wants to enter “the next phase of drilling.â€‌ Where exactly this “next phaseâ€‌ will start depends entirely on the resultsof the appraisal programme underway.

Oilex has long stressed the huge â€کstep-out’ potential in portions of the 160-sq km block that are largely unexplored. “Most of the earlier ONGC wells were in the central areas and southern areas,â€‌ we hear.

“Oilex wants to go north and north-east and deeper in the section.â€‌ Oilex is excited about a $3.2m blanket 3D survey completed by Torun Geofyzika in December 2005.

“This 3D gives Oilex a better understanding of gas distribution within the block,â€‌ we hear. “More sophisticated interpretation is in progress.

â€‌ Oilex is looking to hire a reserves consultant and by the end of this year expects to answer two critical questions: how much will Cambay produce and what are in place reserves