Cairn surprises all by hitting Ravva production target

Vol 12, PW 20 (12 Mar 09) Exploration & Production

Cairn India is on track to meet production targets at the ageing Ravva oil and gasfield for the year ending March 2009, despite declining production and a shift of focus to Rajasthan.

PETROWATCH learns that by the 11th month of the financial year in February 2009, Cairn had pumped out nearly 90% of its target for the year: 1.989m tonnes. “Don’t forget that February had only 28 days,â€‌ a government source tells us.

“Cairn will likely either meet or even exceed the target. Ravva is among the best managed reservoirs’ in the world.

â€‌ Among the measures introduced by Cairn to optimise production at Ravva is complicated de-bottlenecking of the crude handling facilities at Ravva. “Cairn increased the diameter size of the pipeline transporting crude from the producing wells,â€‌ adds a source.

“This helped move the crude quicker.â€‌ Despite the government’s thumbs up, Cairn’s reservoir management skills have not reversed production at a field that not long ago accounted for around 8% of India’s domestic production.

In the new financial year starting April 1, 2009, Ravva crude production is forecast to slow to 25,000 to 30,000 b/d from 37,500 to 38,000 b/d now. Gas production from Ravva and the Ravva satellite fields remains stable, between 1.7m cm/d to 1.8 m cm/d.

In February last year, the Ravva operating committee consortium of Cairn (22.5% and operator), Marubeni-backed Ravva Oil (12.5%), Petrocon (25%) and ONGC (40%) said Ravva output would fall sharply in the coming year from its peak of 52,000 b/d reached in 2007. Because of the massive work programme Cairn has in place to develop its Rajasthan fields, plans for any major new investment at Ravva could be delayed.

“Cairn is diverting all its energy to develop the discoveries in Rajasthan,â€‌ we hear. In July last year Cairn admitted that its plans for work on the older oil wells at Ravva were at a â€کstrategic juncture’ and that 73% of the â€کviable reserves’ had already been pumped out.