ONGC working on B-Series field development

Vol 14, PW 25 (16 Jun 11) Exploration & Production

Mumbai High asset manager Apurba Saha has set up a 10-member multi-disciplinary internal team to prepare a Detailed Feasibility Report (DFR) on developing ONGC’s B-Series marginal fields offshore Mumbai: B-59, B-127 and B-157.

PETROWATCH learns Saha wants the panel, set up on May 27, to ‘fine tune’ the B-Series production profile, finalise the number of wells to be drilled, the number of platforms needed, and the total length of interconnecting pipelines required. He also wants the panel to do a ‘techno-economic’ study to suggest different approaches to developing the fields so ONGC can maximise production and profits.

Saha wants the panel to submit a report by the end of July (next month). Fields B-59 and B-127 are located not far from each other: northeast of Mumbai High and north of the Mukta field, jointly operated by British Gas, ONGC and Reliance.

B-157 lies further west, near the Mumbai High North. These B-Series fields could hold approximately 6.4m-tonnes of in-place oil and around 2.2bn cubic metres (0.07-tcf) of in-place gas, according to ONGC estimates.

Of this, ONGC believes 1m-tonnes of oil and 1.5bn cubic metres (0.05-tcf) of gas could be recovered over eight years by drilling seven oil producers and one gas producer. When these fields were discovered over 20 years ago, ONGC initially drilled 15 exploration wells, but later plugged and abandoned them.

This was because it felt developing the fields didn’t make economic sense, especially as it was forced to sell any gas or oil produced at government-determined low prices. Nowadays, ONGC gets market rates for oil and close to market rates for gas, so developing the B-Series fields makes sense.

After the proposed DFR is prepared, it must be approved by ONGC’s Executive Committee and board of directors before any tenders are issued to develop the marginal fields.