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OVL’s first Persian Gulf project starts drilling
16 May, 2006

ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) has started its drilling operation in Farsi Offshore Block of Iran with spudding in of first well BB # 4 on April 28, 2006 by rig Kedarnath. The rig was provided by ONGC’s fleet of offshore rigs to enable OVL to fulfill its work commitment.

Mr Bose at the Controls with nostalgia of his time explaining drilling operations to Mr Butola

On this occasion, Director (T&FS) ONGC, Mr U N Bose, and MD – OVL, Mr R S Butola along with the officials of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) of Iran visited the rig and reviewed its condition and the status.

While expressing satisfaction over the rig condition and its performance, the visiting high officials complimented the project team led by GM - OVL, Mr D S Porwal for steering the project to this stage despite various challenges and conveyed their best wishes to the Team Farsi for this success.

Earlier, a review meeting had taken place in Dubai by MD, OVL and Director (T&FS), ONGC to take a stock of preparations made by OVL for its drilling campaign. A presentation made by the Project Incharge, Mr. Porwal on various aspects including that of provisioning of materials, hiring of services, HSE and logistics.

The Farsi Block Project is OVL’s first operated project of its kind in Persian Gulf and is unique in many ways. Earlier, OVL was unable to get rig in the International market due to the tough market conditions.

The offshore exploration block is situated in the Iranian part of Persian Gulf measuring about 6,700 sq km. The nearest Iranian port is Busheher, which is about 90 km away from the block, and is being used as heli-base for crew change of the rig personnel.

Review meeting in progress, Presentation being made by Mr. Porwal, GM, OVL

The marine logistics and storage of material is managed from Jebel- Ali (Dubai). The special features of drilling in Farsi Block included drilling of 36” hole and cementing of 30” casing and drilling of different formations like anhydrite, salt .

It was also observed that the logistics of the project was an important plank of this project because of distances involved and Iranian requirements.

It was informed that the project consists of drilling of a total of four wells of which three are expected to be oil bearing with relatively shallow target depths of about 2300 m and simple well profile, while the fourth well is likely to be with high pressure, simultaneous gain and loss situation, high H2S and deeper target depth of about 3400 m.

Both the directors complimented the small and compact Farsi team of OVL for their tireless efforts in-spite of difficult conditions.

“Team Farsi” with Mr R S Butola, MD, OVL and Mr U N Bose, Director (T & F S) in Base Office, Dubai

The Exploration Service Contract (ESC) for Farsi Block was won by OVL led consortium consisting of OVL (40%), IOC (40%) and OIL (20%) through competitive bidding in early 2002 and the same was formalised by signing the Contract on December 25, 2002 with National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

After completing the reprocessing and interpretation of the old seismic data and API of new 2D and 3D data successfully, the drilling locations were identified in consultation with ONGC in-house team and OVL’s international advisors with due approval of NIOC.

The operations will be monitored and steered from OVL’s operations Base Office in Jebel Ali free zone, Dubai that was formally inaugurated by MD, OVL and Director (T&FS) prior to kicking off the operations. Director (T & FS) congratulated ONGC Videsh for an impressive office setup.


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