Oil India postpones its first Baghewala well to August

Vol 9, PW 6 (30 Jun 05) Exploration & Production

Oil India has delayed plans to spud its first well at Baghewala in Rajasthan under a research and development project to recover heavy oil.

Oil Indias original plan was to spud the well in March but this has now been delayed to mid-August. The delay is attributed to the late arrival of the mobile, truck-mounted, 750-horsepower Chinese-built rig bought by Oil India.

The rig had to undergo major modifications to meet the specifications laid down by the Director General of Mining, we learn. The rig is expected to reach Mumbai port in the first week of July.

Give about a week for customs clearance and two weeks or so for transport and we expect to start drilling sometime in mid-August. Also changed is Oil Indias plan to begin the heavy oil recovery project.

Partnering Oil India in this project is Venezuelas state-owned oil explorer Petroleos de Venezuela, which is providing technology for the venture. Earlier plans were to drill a pilot well to the Jodhpur sands for heavy oil.

But Oil India will now drill a well to recover bitumen. Bitumen recovery is more complex, adds Oil India.

If we are able to do it well drill another well. Oil India will drill to a depth of 600 metres for the bitumen recovery.

We will test the bitumen and based on the results will decide any further course of action. Oil India says the bitumen at Baghewala is also very heavy.

We are not sure if we can extract any bitumen. At the second well, Oil India will try to recover heavy oil using steam injection.

Facilities for steam injection are now being set up. They should be ready in about six months.

Oil India has opted for steam injection as the cheapest way to recover heavy oil at Baghewala. Steam will be generated using water from a nearby agricultural irrigation canal.

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