Monday, December 18, 2006

ONGC finds huge gas reserves in Bay of Bengal

Oil and Natural Gas Corp has made a huge gas find in Bay of Bengal, with initial estimates suggesting reserves of about 21 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

ONGC, which had previously discovered 2-3 tcf of gas reserves in about half-a-dozen wells in the Krishna-Godavari Basin block KG-DWN-98/2, struck a 28 metre net gas pay zone when deepsea drillship Belford Dolphin reached 5,300 metres depth at well UD-1, 55-kms from the coast.

"The ultra-deepwater well UD-1 is yet to reach its target depth of 6,500 meters and vertical seismic profile has thrown up at least one more pay zone larger than the one encountered. There could also be oil," an industry source said.

The well UD-1 will reach its target depth in next 10 days and testing will take another week.

"ONGC might be planning a new year gift to the nation with this (discovery)," the source quipped.

The state-run firm had done a mud drill test of the ultra-deepwater well UD-1 and preliminary estimate put in-place reserves at 600 billion cubic meters (over 21 tcf). The second net pay zone could be in excess of 80 meters and there appeared traces of oil too, the source said.

When contacted, Dinesh Kumar Pandey, director of exploration at ONGC, said: "It is too early to comment on reserves. We are yet to reach the target depth and will wait for conventional testing results before hazarding any guess on the size of the discovery." Reliance Industries Ltd estimates 50 tcf of in-place reserves in neighbouring KG-DWN-98/3 block, while Gujarat State Petroleum Corp had last year found 20 tcf reserves in a shallow water block in the same basin.


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