Cairn gears up for Mangala development in December

Vol 12, PW 8 (04 Sep 08) Exploration & Production

Cairn India is gearing up to being development drilling at its Mangala oilfield in Rajasthan sometime in December using two custom-built Weatherford rigs.

But Cairn is yet to select a contractor to drill the 260 development wells planned at the Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya fields within block RJ-ON-90/1. “A final decision has yet to be made on the drilling contractor,â€‌ a Cairn source tells PETROWATCH.

The first Weatherford rig will reach RJ-ON-90/1 on October 1 and the second will be delivered a month later, but to Cairn’s exploration block in Bihar: GV-ONN-2002/1. After drilling one well in Bihar, the rig will be moved to Rajasthan.

Despite the expected October arrival of the first rig in Rajasthan, drilling might begin some days later. “The delivery of the drilling rig and spud date are two different things,â€‌ we hear.

Initially both Weatherford rigs, each hired for three-year â€کfirm’ and two-year â€کoptional’ contracts, will be used for appraisal drilling at Rajasthan and subsequently for development drilling. Oilfield service contractors are eagerly waiting for development drilling to begin at the Rajasthan fields.

“Weatherford, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, BJ Services are some of the prominent contractors hired by Cairn India for this project,â€‌ reports a source. “It will be largest-ever onshore development campaign in India.

It is a super project.â€‌ We are told that Cairn has awarded almost all the critical contracts for the development drilling.

“The party is over and the cake has been cut and distributed, except for one piece: selecting the drilling contractor.â€‌ Cairn has also not signed a sales contract for the 175,000 b/d crude oil expected to flow from the Rajasthan fields by the second half of 2009, but is not worried.

“It (Crude Oil Sales Agreement) is not going to happen for a while yet,â€‌ we are told. “A COSA for the (Cairn-operated) Ravva field was signed just a month or so before production began.

There is no shortage of buyers (for Rajasthan crude).â€‌

LNG Summit