Hardy Increases Estimate of In-Place Oil at PY-3 Field

There was a time when the Hardy-operated PY-3 oilfield offshore Chennai had been written off as a field in permanent decline with no hope of recovery. No longer.

Today, production has almost doubled from a year ago and the Hardy-led consortium has begun turning a profit for the first time. Estimates of in-place reserves numbers have also increased.

Hardy tells PETROWATCH that by July this year14.5m barrels had already been extracted from the field, leaving another 12.5m barrels to be recovered – enough for eight years of continuous production. With further development drilling, Hardy believes it can uncover a further 12m barrels of recoverable oil.

"This is a classic case of turning around a marginal field in decline using water injection and lateral wells," Hardy tells us. "Water injection was a key element in increasing production and prolonging the field's life."

Hardy began its water injection program at PY-3 in September last year. Positive results emerged within four months: crude production at PY-3 today stands at 7000 b/d – up from the average 3800 b/d before the start of water injection in September 2003 and a 're-drill' in May 2004.

Reversal of PY-3's fortunes didn't come easy. In November 2002, Frontier Drilling's Frontier Discoverer drillship came unstuck resulting in the loss of a well, just as it was ready to flow oil.

Hardy finally re-drilled and completed the lateral well in the first week of May this year, 18 months after the accident.

"The capital intensive Phase II project has been paid for last year because of the high price of oil and improved performance from the PY-3 field," reveals Hardy. "And PY-3 has begun generating profit oil. This means the government is earning money from PY-3 for the first time."

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