Petrogas drills dry well offshore Mumbai

Vol 14, PW 19 (24 Mar 11) Exploration & Production

Luck has evaded Oman-headquartered Petrogas at its first exploration well in India.

PETROWATCH learns the first Phase-I exploration well drilled by Petrogas at its 741-sq km NELP-VI shallow water block MB-OSN-2004/2 was dry. “We completed the well two days ago,” confirmed a senior Petrogas source on March 15.

“But we didn’t encounter any hydrocarbons. Our in-house team will finish evaluating the ‘logs’ in a week after which we may also get the logs reviewed by a consultant for a second opinion.

” Petrogas spud this well on January 18 using jack-up Aban-VII and drilled it to TD of around 1500 metres, hoping to discover oil and targeting the same geological formation as ONGC’s producing Neelam and Heera oil and gasfields nearby. But despite the disappointing result at this first well, Petrogas is determined to drill two more exploration wells committed in Phase-I at the block, which ends on May 20, 2011.

“We must drill all three Phase-I wells in this campaign,” said Petrogas. “Or we’ll pay a heavy penalty to the DGH for our unfinished work programme.

We'd rather spend money on exploration wells than on paying penalties!” This block lies 24-km offshore Mumbai in water depths ranging from 30 metres to 60 metres. Petrogas hired Aban-VII last August for its MB-OSN-2004/2 drilling programme at an operating day rate of $81,000.

It has already fulfilled most of its other Phase-I commitments at the block like shooting 741-sq km of 3D and 440-lkm of 2D, reprocessing 840-lkm of old 2D and collecting 500 ‘geo-chemical’ samples. Petrogas operates this block with a 20% stake while partners GAIL, IndianOil, GSPC and Hindustan Petroleum each hold 20%.

The PSC for this block was signed on March 2, 2007 and Petrogas secured the Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) from the oil ministry on May 21, 2007.