ONGC to begin appraisal of KG-DWN-98/2

Vol 13, PW 17 (11 Feb 10) Exploration & Production

ONGC is about to begin its long-awaited appraisal programme at deepwater discovery block KG-DWN-98/2 amid growing signs of discomfort among partners Petrobras and StatoilHydro over recoverable reserve forecasts.

PETROWATCH learns Transocean-operated Discoverer Seven Seas set sail from a location in the Mahanadi basin on February 8 and passed Bhubaneswar on Tuesday (February 9), Vizag on Wednesday (February 10) and Rajahmundry on Thursday (February 11). The first of three initial appraisal wells planned forSeven Seasis named M-1, which ONGC wants to drill to TD of between 2500 and 2600 metres to the Godavari geological formation.

“This well is being drilled to appraise a shallow water oil discovery made by Cairn when it was the operator,â€‌ we hear. "The location and coordinates of the two remaining appraisal wells will be finalised closer to drilling.

â€‌ In August and October 2001, original operator Cairn announced the Kanakadurga oil discovery in 493 metres water depths and the Padmavati discovery in 500 metres water depths. Kanakadurga flowed 3648 b/d on a 40/64-inch inch choke and initial reserve estimates were in the range of 40m to 80m barrels of oil and 100bn to 200bn cubic feet recoverable gas.

Padmavati flowed 5998 b/d and 3.87m cf/d from a 48/64-inch choke. Seven Seas is expected to take up to six weeks to drill well M-I at KG-DWN-98/2 before moving to the remaining two wells.

Whether this appraisal programme will be enough to convince partners Petrobras and Statoil to remain in the consortium is open to question. Last year we reported how Petrobras wanted to quit and now we hear that Statoil is privately voicing misgivings about reserves estimates at the block, prepared by Schlumberger following its appointment on November 17, 2006 to carry out a comprehensive evaluation and appraisal plan.