GAIL gears up to explore Cauvery basin block

Vol 13, PW 24 (20 May 10) Exploration & Production

GAIL is taking its role as upstream operator seriously, wasting no time in preparing to explore the 946-sq km NELP-VII onshore Tamil Nadu block CY-ONN-2005/1, where it partners Toronto-listed Bengal Energy and GSPC.

PETROWATCH learns GAIL received the Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) in mid-March and by May 10 had already invited Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for up to 25 services, including seismic reprocessing, seismic acquisition, drilling, workover drilling, logging and perforation, well testing and cementing, tubulars and drill bits. Anyone interested must respond within 15 days.

“We want to set up a vendors and contractors database,” confirms a GAIL source. “Tenders will be issued only to registered contractors.

” He adds GAIL is also busy preparing a tender to acquire 500-sq km 3D at the block. “This tender will be issued in the beginning of July,” we hear.

“The fair weather window for seismic acquisition in the Cauvery region is from January to May. We want to award the contract by October so acquisition can begin by next January.

” GAIL wants the selected contractor to mobilise crew and equipment by this December and to complete seismic acquisition by next June and processing by next October. “Interpretation should take another four to five months (after October),” says our GAIL source.

“Drilling will begin in 2012 only.” But, he adds, GAIL hopes to select a drilling contractor for the 2012 drilling programme this November.

Separately, GAIL hired Fugro in early April to reprocess 1700-lkm of existing 2D. “Fugro will submit its report in five months,” we hear.

GAIL has reprocessed 1700-lkm data, much more than its 1000-lkm commitment, to get a better understanding of the block geology. It has also hired Alcock McPhar Geotech to acquire 2000-lkm aeromagnetic data.