Partners Begin Re-development of Panna/Mukta Fields

The joint operators of the Panna/Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields off the west coast of India have launched a $740 million output enhancement campaign with a multi-well drilling program.

"We have received government approval for investing $138 million in Phase-I redevelopment of the Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields. A tender has been issued for drilling new well and we plan to begin drilling in early 2004," British Gas India CEO Nigel Shaw told reporters.

BG and its partners ONGC and Reliance Industries have issued a tender for a 300-feet jack-up rig for the first tranche of drilling on the offshore complex, which contributes 7% to India 's total oil and gas production.

The partners plan to drill up to 18 wells in Panna/Mukta oil and gas fields and a four-well re-completion program is lined up for the Tapti gas field. Seven of the 18 wells, and the re-completion wells, are due to be drilled in the first stage, lasting 18 months, he said. The first phase investment will increase crude oil output from Panna/Mukta fields by 5000 barrels per day to over 30,000 barrels per day by end 2004. Gas production from Tapti will increase by 2-2.5 million standard cubic meters per day over current production of around 6 mmscmd.

Shaw said in the second phase, beginning end 2004 and lasting 2007, another $600 million will be invested to increase production from the fields.

"With this investment, Tapti gas field production would rise to close to 13 mmscmd," he said.

Shaw said the partners are discussing Phase-II development plans for the fields' expansion and will seek government approval for this in due course. "Priority will be to expand output from the Tapti gas field."

The investment in Panna-Mukta field would result in an incremental oil production of 18.5 million barrels (2.46 million tonnes) and 2.15 billion cubic meters of gas. He said the proposed investments would be shared among the partners in proportion to their equity. While ONGC has 40 percent stake in the fields, BG and RIL have 30 percent a piece.

Natural gas production from Panna-Mukta will increase to 2.67 mmscmd in 2004-05 and to 2.88 mmscmd in 2005-06 from the current year estimate of 2.61 mmscmd. Tapti gas production would jump from 5.24 mmsmcd (2003-04) to 8.07 mmscmd in 2004-05 and 11.78 mmscmd in 2005-06.

For 10 years beginning 2007-08, Panna-Mukta would have additional gas production of 2 mmscmd and Tapti of 3 mmscmd.

The investment would result in 0.2 million tons additional crude oil production from Panna/Mukta fields in 2004-05 and 2005-06 over current year estimate of 1.2 million tons. The incremental production from Panna/Mukta would be 0.4 million tons in the subsequent years.

Oil from the fields is sold to government nominee Indian Oil Corp and gas is sold to GAIL.