Essar wants two rigs for Myanmar exploration

Vol 13, PW 20 (25 Mar 10) Exploration & Production

Essar Oil is soon expected to release a tender for one jack-up and one onland drilling rig to begin drilling at two adjacent blocks in Myanmar where it is operator.

But PETROWATCH learns Essar first needs to firm up its exploration plans for the 10,000-sq km onshore block L and the 2400-sq km offshore block A2. “We are in no hurry,â€‌ reports a company source.

“Plenty of jack-ups and onland rigs are available in the market.â€‌ He adds drilling would not begin anyway until November after the Myanmar monsoon season ends.

Essar is currently in the extension period of Phase-I at these blocks with all the indications suggesting it will enter (the optional) Phase-II, which begins this August and runs for a year. In Phase-II, each block has a one-well commitment to Miocene or Pliocene sandstone formations between 3000 and 4000 metres.

Early last year, Essar drilled one well at onland block L using a Dewanchand Ramsaran rig and one well at offshore block A2 using Aban offshore owned jack-up Deep Driller-2. “Essar is studying the drilling data and integrating it with seismic survey results to generate more locations,â€‌ we learn.

“Only two Phase-II wells are committed but Essar could decide to drill more. Both blocks are promising.

â€‌ Essar’s in-house team is also debating whether to re-enter and test two wells drilled last year or drill new wells at separate locations nearby. “We could not flow either of the earlier wells,â€‌ we hear, “so it is difficult to clearly estimate the resource potential of the blocks.

â€‌ Essar believes blocks L and A2 could be as prospective as the neighbouring Daewoo-operated offshore blocks A1 and A3 where ONGC Videsh and GAIL hold significant stakes.