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India's ONGC yet to submit work plan for drilling two offshore wells – The Financial Express

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M AZIZUR RAHMAN | Published: May 30, 2022 09:08:30 | Updated: May 31, 2022 20:22:02
ONGC Videsh Ltd, India’s hydrocarbon exploration firm, is yet to submit any work plan for drilling two shallow-depth offshore wells although the contract tenure is scheduled to expire in February next.
“We have not yet received any work plan from the ONGC to carry out drilling the wells at Titly and Moitree located in shallow water block SS-04 and SS-09 respectively,” a senior Petrobangla official told the FE on Sunday.
As per the contract, he said, the ONGC is supposed to complete drilling of both blocks within the next nine months unless the tenure is extended.
A couple of months back, the Indian firm ‘failed’ to discover presence of any hydrocarbon at Kanchan gas well in the block SS-04. It plugged and abandoned the well subsequently, meaning that the well does not have any prospect of hydrocarbon reserve.
The ONGC had drilled beyond its targeted depth of around 4,228 metres beneath the surface in search of a commercially viable deposit at Kanchan of Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal.
The ONGC could find only huge deposits of clay and shell-stone sequence during the drilling in absence of sandstone, meaning there is no gas-reserve prospect there.
The drilling of the Kanchan well was the first offshore drilling in the country’s maritime territory in the last five years.
Australian oil and gas exploration company Santos along with state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (BAPEX) earlier in February 2017 drilled offshore Magnama-2 well under block 16 which was found dry after drilling.
The joint venture had drilled the Magnama-2 well into a depth of around 3,200 metres only to find it dry. This drilling costs BAPEX around US$29 million.
There are also no producing offshore gas wells in the country and the entire natural gas output comes from onshore gas fields as well as import of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The state-run Petrobangla earlier extended the tenure of contract with ONGC by two more years until February 2023 to boost offshore exploration.
The deal with the Indian firm was set to expire in February 2021 after an initial two-year extension.
Petrobangla signed two PSCs with ONGC, the operator of blocks SS-04 and SS-09, on February 17 in 2014, which was set to expire in February 2019.
ONGC is the operator of blocks SS-04 and SS-09, having a participating interest of 45 per cent. OIL holds 45 per cent participating interests and the BAPEX holds the remaining 10 per cent.
The Block SS-04 covers an area of 7,269 sq km while the Block SS-09 stretches over an area of 7,026 sq km. Water depth of both blocks ranges between 20 and 200 metres.
As per the PSC, ONGC is committed to conducting 2,700 line-kilometre 2D seismic data-acquisition and-processing and one exploratory well in Block SS-04 and 2,700 line-kilometre 2D seismic data-acquisition and-processing and two exploratory wells in Block SS-09.
The firm will be allowed to operate and sell oil and gas for 20 years from an oil field and 25 years from a gas field. The ONGC has already completed around 3,100 line-kilometre 2D seismic surveys for both the blocks.
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