Cairn set for â€کdry run' ahead of Mangala oil production

Vol 13, PW 1 (18 Jun 09) Exploration & Production

Cairn India is beginning the countdown to first commercial crude production from the Mangala, Aishwariya, Raageshwari and Saraswati fields at Rajasthan block RJ-ON-90/1.

The countdown was to begin on (Monday) June 15 when six heated and insulated tanker trucks each loaded with 100 barrels of Mangala crude were to start the road journey to Kandla port in Gujarat, more than 400-km south. But extreme desert weather conditions prevented this, as did the need for technical changes to the crude loading facility.

Cairn now plans to start the trucking operation on June 25 or 26. “This will be a â€کdry run’ to check how the crude behaves during the journey and the time taken to reach Kandla and return,â€‌ Cairn tells us.

At Kandla, tankers will unload the crude into onland storage tanks hired by Cairn. “It will take about a month to fill up the tanks at Kandla,â€‌ we hear.

Two of the six trucks will stay at Kandla, two will return and two will explore an alternative route. Crude oil samples will be handed over at Kandla to Mangalore Refinery representatives and data generated by the â€کdry run’ will be collected and analysed over three days and presented to the block’s project review board.

If the board is satisfied, a date will be marked to start commercial production, “most likely in the second or third week of July if all non-technical issues are resolved.â€‌ When commercial production begins, Cairn will transport the crude in a fleet of 300 tanker trucks to Kandla and on to tankers for the sea voyage to Mangalore Refinery down the coast and possibly other state-owned refiners when Cairn gets round to signing the all-important Crude Oil Sales Agreements.

Initial production will be 2000 b/d rising to 30,000 b/d within three months, gradually increasing to a peak of 125,000 b/d by 2011.