Is Kutch off­shore the next hy­dro­car­bon basin for In­dia?


Resource Digest - - CONTENTS -

Will the Kutch coast­line in western In­dia be­come the next pro­duc­ing off­shore basin of the coun­try? ONGC’s ex­plo­ration team be­lieves so. If it suc­ceeds, then In­dia will get a new pro­duc­ing basin af­ter a lag of 30 years – the last be­ing Cau­very.

The pub­lic sec­tor ex­plo­ration ma­jor has set a tar­get of three years to bring its off­shore dis­cov­er­ies, mainly gas, to pro­duc­tion. The fields lie south-west of the Kutch coast­line.

“We have set a tar­get of three years for tak­ing the as­set from cat­e­gory-II to cat­e­gory-I that is from ex­plo­ration to pro­duc­ing,” ONGC’s Di­rec­tor (Ex­plo­ration) Ajay Ku­mar Dwivedi said, adding, “at present, it is dif­fi­cult to give any es­ti­mates on how much hy­dro­car­bon is avail­able, but re­sults are ex­cit­ing.”

Dwivedi said that the ef­forts of ONGC have led to the dis­cov­ery of nine hy­dro­car­bon prospects in its acreages there. The ar­eas in­clude acreages given on min­ing lease prior to li­cens­ing rounds and two blocks won un­der the New Ex­plo­ration Li­cens­ing Pol­icy (NELP) rounds.

Gas has been dis­cov­ered in GK-22C and GK-39 struc­tures and oil/gas has been dis­cov­ered in GK-28 struc­ture. Re­cently, two gas dis­cov­er­ies have also been made in NELP–VIII blocks – GK-OSN-2009/1 and GK-OSN-2009/2. They are still at the ap­praisal stage, but ex­perts say that the com­bined re­source base could be about 15 bil­lion cu­bic me­tre of gas through the life of the fields.

But the chal­lenge for ONGC will be the then pre­vail­ing gas price.

Ac­cord­ing to com­pany of­fi­cials, the av­er­age cost of pro­duc­tion for ONGC is $4 a unit (gas is mea­sured in mil­lion Bri­tish ther­mal units, and the cur­rent price is $4.24 a unit). ONGC has a to­tal of four NELP blocks in the basin. Dwivedi said the big­gest ex­ploratory chal­lenge in the Basin is seis­mic imag­ing be­low Dec­can Traps as it tends to de­grade the seis­mic sig­nals. Though the com­pany has used state of the art tech­nolo­gies touted to ad­dress this par­tic­u­lar is­sue, the re­sults were not sat­is­fac­tory.

The Kutch Basin cov­ers an area of about 28,000 sq km. Hy­dro­car­bon ex­plo­ration in Kutch Off­shore Basin was first ini­ti­ated in 1964 when a Rus­sian seis­mic sur­vey ac­quired 2D data. ONGC has been ex­plor­ing the Basin for more than four decades.

But now, the com­pany has gone back with new zeal. ONGC has drilled 49 ex­ploratory wells of which 47 fall in shal­low wa­ter while 2 wells were drilled in deep-wa­ter ar­eas.

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