Cairn moves Weatherford rig to Bihar before Barmer

Vol 12, PW 11 (16 Oct 08) Exploration & Production

Rajasthan is not the only place where Cairn India is operating, though you wouldn’t believe it if you read the local press, where all the talk is of developing the Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya fields (MBA).

PETROWATCH learns two brand new 1500-hp Weatherford rigs ordered for the MBA development have reached India, but only one of them has reached Rajasthan, where it will spud the first appraisal/development well at the end of this month (October 29). PETROWATCH learns the second rig has reached the town of Darbhanga in Bihar where it is scheduled to drill Cairn’s first exploration well at NELP-IV block GV-ONN-2002/1, which it operates (50%) alongside Cairn-affiliate Capricorn (50%).

“Cairn will drill the first well (in Bihar) on November 7,â€‌ predicts a source. “They are doing it to please the local government, only to meet their work commitment.

â€‌ As well they might. Of Cairn’s seven â€کpure’ exploration plays in India, three are located in the poorly explored and unexciting Ganga Basin: GV-ONN-2002/1, GV-ONN-97/1 and GV-ONN-2003/1.

Last year Cairn relinquished GV-ONN-97/1 after Phase-I on completion of the Banda-1 dry hole. Equally dim are the prospects for this forthcoming well at the 15,550-sq km GV-ONN-2002/1 block, where Cairn has a three-well Phase-I work commitment.

Assuming the well is dry, and Cairn decides not to drill the remaining two, Weatherford’s rig will move to the marginally more exciting 1697-sq km NELP-V onland block KG-ONN-2003/1 in the Krishna Godavari basin, where it is operator (49%) alongside ONGC (51%), to drill three five Phase-I commitment wells before moving to Barmer to join the first Weatherford rig. At KG-ONN-2003/1, Cairn is committed to drilling two wells to 2000 metres TD each to â€کBasement’ and three wells to 2500 metres TD each.

Cairn signed a PSC for KG-ONN-2003/1 on September 23, 2005 and won a PEL on February 8, 2007.