No reward in early drilling for Dart Energy

Vol 14, PW 8 (07 Oct 10) Exploration & Production

Sadly for Brisbane-based Dart Energy there are no financial rewards for completing DGH-approved work programmes early – otherwise it could have made some good money! PETROWATCH learns Dart (formerly Arrow Energy) completed the fifth and final Phase-I committed test well at Chhattisgarh CBM block TR-CBM-2005/III on August 12 - much before time.

“Phase-I was to be completed by October,” says a source, “but Dart completed it two months early.” Dart, he adds, began pumping water out of all five Phase-I test wells on September 19.

“‘Progressive cavity pumps’ were installed at each well,” we hear, “and ‘de-watering’ has begun.” Gas flows are expected within a month but de-watering will continue for the entire life of the wells.

Dart began drilling these test wells on May 3 and drilled each to approximately 800-metres TD using a rig from fellow Australian company Mitchell Drilling. Dart operates this Chhattisgarh TR block with a 35% stake and partners GAIL with 35% while Swedish-based EIG and Mumbai-based Tata Power hold 15% each.

Informally, the TR consortium wants to enter the two-year Phase-II, but has yet to send any formal application to the DGH. “If the test wells behave as expected (after de-watering),” says a consortium source, “we could enter Phase-II around March (2011).

” In Phase-II, the consortium has committed to drill 15 ‘pilot’ wells to 800-metres TD each. It will also determine the most prospective zone in the block or ‘fairway’ so a development programme can be prepared.

Good gas shows at TR made Dart briefly question earlier plans to relinquish its other Chhattisgarh CBM block MR-CBM-2005/III. But Dart has decided to quit the MR block after all and is also quitting Jharkhand CBM block RM-CBM-2005/III, where exploration work was suspended two years ago following violent attacks from local ‘Santhal’ tribals.

Dart’s applications for relinquishment are pending with the DGH.

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