Still No Deepwater Luck for ONGC in Gulf of Kutch

ONGC might need to make a radical reassessment of its expensive deepwater drilling program. PETROWATCH understands the corporation is about to encounter yet another dry well in the Gulf of Kutch in the western offshore. Deepwater drillship Belford Dolphin is nearing its target depth of 5,500 meters at the DW-RO-1A location and has not encountered a single kick so far. By June 29th, the Belford Dolphin had drilled up to water depths of 5,384 meters. "Our initial interpretation tells us that the bad luck continues," a senior ONGC official tells PETROWATCH. Hard formations where Belford is drilling a six-inch hole aren't helping matters and operations have slowed down. A source close to Dolphin tells this report that ONGC might insist on drilling deeper than the target depth. "We are not too sure whether we will be asked to stop at 5,500 meters or drill further."

On the east coast meanwhile, deepwater drillship Discoverer Seven Seas reached its new location KD-3-1, further east from its previous location KG-OS-DW. As the drillship started operations to spud at the mark, it encountered a water flow problem. "Seven Seas had to be shifted to another mark," we learn. A water flow problem occurs when the drill pipe encounters pressured up pools of water 30 to 40 meters under water. "This is a common problem in deepwater drilling," he adds. "One has to look for another mark and move on," the ONGC official said. We also learn that ONGC's exploration team is thinking of engaging the leading UK upstream consultants Fugro Robertson (previously Robertson Research International) to study structures in the Gulf of Kutch in the western offshore basin. "Robertson could help us with some basin analysis of the Kutch offshore," we learn. "We strongly feel the presence of hydrocarbons in that region."

Fugro Robertson has extensive expertise in petroleum basin data analysis and is well equipped to provide in-depth knowledge of various types of plays and traps likely to be present in any given structure. PetroWatch - "Market Intelligence from the Oil, Gas & Power sector in India"