Cairn rushes to submit Ambe FDP before PSC deadline

Vol 11, PW 23 (03 Apr 08) Exploration & Production

Gas-hungry customers in Gujarat will be happy to hear that Cairn India has at last submitted its long-awaited Field Development Programme for the Ambe gasfield, located within pre-NELP discovered Gujarat offshore block CB-OS/2, which also holds the Lakshmi and Gauri producing oil and gasfields.

PETROWATCH learns the DGH received the FDP on March 29, just two days before the extended PSC deadline of March 31. In the FDP, Cairn estimates that Ambe holds a total volume of 40bn cubic feet of sweet gas, of which 34bn feet is recoverable over seven years.

Sitting in water depths of around 12-feet, Cairn is proposing one well at Ambe initially, followed by another one or two wells, depending on results of the first. Cairn wants to connect its Ambe well(s) by pipeline to a new â€کlightweight’ offshore platform, which in turn will be linked to an existing gas-processing platform on the bigger Lakshmi field, where the gas will be mixed before winding its way to the onshore gas-receiving complex at Suvali.

Because of its small size, Cairn is proposing relatively small facilities at Ambe, such as the â€کlightweight’ platform. “These platforms are inexpensive because they don’t use too much steel,â€‌ says a source.

“But they don’t last more than 10 years.â€‌ Cairn partners Tata Petrodyne and ONGC are yet to fully digest the Ambe FDP, which could undergo changes after it is discussed at the Operating Committee meeting and with the DGH during a Management Committee meeting.

“It was submitted virtually on the last day,â€‌ complains a consortium source, “so we had no time to even look at it.â€‌ In normal circumstance a FDP is submitted to the DGH only after OC and MC approval.

But with Ambe, partners saw it only when they received a copy along with the DGH. “Cairn’s idea seems to have been to just beat the deadline,â€‌ we are told.

“The DGH may not accept the FDP without OC and MC approval.â€‌ On March 31, Cairn issued preliminary results to the London Stock Exchange in which no mention was made of the FDP for Ambe.