Imminent GSPC production at CB-ON/2 in Gujarat

Vol 12, PW 16 (15 Jan 09) Exploration & Production

After months of frustrating delay GSPC is set to begin oil production at its pre-NELP exploration (Tarapur) CB-ON/2 block where it holds 80% alongside Canadian partner GeoGlobal Resources, which holds 20%.

First oil of around 1200 b/d at CB-ON/2 should have started flowing 10 months ago following the installation of early production equipment at a cost of Rs1cr ($225,000). Back then GSPC had already identified three locations for development wells at oil discovery Tarapur-1 and around appraisal wells Tarapur-P and Tarapur-5 but nothing happened because the original block â€کlicencee’ ONGC took its own sweet time in approving the development plan, encumbered by a length internal approval procedure familiar to anyone dealing with the state-owned explorer.

In October last year ONGC approval finally came and the development plan was then sent for crucial Management Committee (MC) approval at a meeting, which was scheduled for January 9. But this meeting was unexpectedly cancelled, as oil ministry officials busily responded to a crippling nationwide strike by oil industry officers called three days earlier and which was called off on January 9.

To speed up Tarapur production and avoid further delay, consortium partners have agreed that when the MC finally gets round to meeting, the resolution to begin production will be circulated by e-mail. “We can start producing within two or three days of MC approval,â€‌ says a source.

“The taps just have to be turned on.â€‌ Anticipating official approval, work is underway at the three wells.

Tarapur production is crucial to both GSPC and GeoGlobal. For GSPC it means revenue to supplement lower income from the fast depleting Hazira gasfield.

For GeoGlobal, it marks the start of serious cash flow to finance its fledgling exploration business in India. Oil from Tarapur will be transported to ONGC’s crude oil tank farm at Nawagam and on to the nearby 13.7m t/y IOC refinery at Koyali.

Oil from Tarapur-1 is free of sulphur and wax, light and measures 40-degree API.