Aggressive development of Bassein next year

Vol 13, PW 18 (25 Feb 10) Exploration & Production

ONGC is gearing up to boost oil production at its giant Bassein oil and gasfield offshore Mumbai with an aggressive development drilling campaign beginning end-2011.

PETROWATCH learnsONGC is planning 14 development wells at the D-1 satellite field, which lies within Bassein. “Overall oil production at Bassein could easily hit 35,000 b/d or more by early 2012,â€‌ predicts ONGC.

Drilling of the 14 wells will begin after three new platforms are installed at D-1by April 2011. These are being installedby Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), which won the ONGC contract last December.

ONGC currently produces 15,000 b/d from the D-1 satellite field, and 10,000 b/d from the Vasai East oilfield, which also lieswithinBassein. Two development wells are being drilled at Vasai East to boost production: one each by Great Ship owned and operated jack-upChitraand Transocean owned and operatedTrident XII.

By contrast, ONGC has no immediate plan to drill gas exploration or development wells at Bassein. “Gas from Bassein fetches just $2/mmbtu for ONGC under the government's subsidy regime," says a source.

"Obviously ONGC isn't keen to increase Bassein gas production until it is paid more. Only when it gets a market determined price will it invest more in raising Bassein gas production.

â€‌ Gas production from Bassein has the potential to increase to 40m cm/d from 31m cm/d today, believes ONGC. Despite natural decline, ONGC has managed to increase gas production at Bassein from around 26m cm/d in May 2008 to around 31m cm/d today – 29m cm/d from the main gasfield and 2m cm/d from the B-65 satellite field.

“After producing continuously for 20 years,â€‌ adds ONGC, “gas production at Bassein should have dropped to 20m cm/d or 22m cm/d.â€‌ But ONGC has increased production by efficiently managing the reservoir and doing â€کin-fill’ drilling and believesBassein could “easilyâ€‌ produce at least 30m cm/d gas for another 15 years.