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ONGC Press Release
22 September, 2010

I. New Prospect Discoveries: Two exploration discoveries have been notified to Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) on September 21, 2010.  Both the discoveries are in nominated PEL blocks.

II. ONGC begins Shale Gas exploration: First Shale Gas well RNSG-1 in Ichapur village near Durgapur in Burdwan District of West Bengal spudded on September 21, 2010.

In its 209th Board Meeting held today on September 22, 2010, the Board noted the following :

I. New Prospect Discoveries

    1. Vygreswaram Southwest-1

    This well in KG onshore basin was drilled down to depth of 4600 m to explore syn-rift Cretaceous sequence. The well proved 30 m gas column on testing & produced gas at the rate of ~ 75000 m3/d & condensate 3.0 m3/d.This discovery has further established the prospectivity of Raghavapuram play towards the south west of VG-1 in the north Pasarlapudi area.

    2. Limbodra East-1

    This well in Cambay basin was drilled in the east of Limbodra field down to depth of 680 m with the objective to explore Limbodra and Kalol pays. The well encountered 11m of gross pay of late Eocene age of Tarapur formation and flowed oil on testing. It has opened up new play along the eastern margin.

    Supplementary information:

    Our recent exploratory successes are the result of a two pronged strategy of targeting deeper as well as shallower targets in operational areas in different basins. This strategy has given rich dividends in the form of discoveries made. Exploration efforts to establish potential of deeper plays have over last few years have been successful and resulted into significant discoveries at Vygreswaram, South Mahadevpattanam and Penugonda in KG on-land. These discoveries have proved the potential of deeper plays and as a result, have added 18.50 MMt of inplace O+OEG in KG Basin. Similar efforts in Assam &Assam Arakan basin have resulted into discoveries at Disangmukh and Panidihing in Tura Formation in the past. Exploration to establish these plays is continuing over Lakwa Field.

    In Western onland basin the exploration has been extended to basin margin for shallower pays. Karvan-1 drilled south of Karjan field has established occurrence of shallow gas in Kand reservoirs and oil in Ankleshwar Formation. This is in sequel of successes established at Charada, Halisa & Gamij in cambay Basin. These efforts have resulted in accretion of 23 MMt O+OEG. Another discovery at Vadatal-1, in NELP-VI Block “CB-ONN-2004/2 has also established prospectivity of eastern margin.

    In Assam and Assam Arakan Basin, similar efforts for shallower Girujan /Tipam pays have been extended over Lakwa, Geleki and Borholla areas. The shallow gas pool extensions recently have been proved at these areas. The success would help in augmenting the gas requirement for Gas lift purposes as well as help in obtaining production from wells with low natural energy reservoirs.

    The chase for these plays has also been extended in offshore sector. During the current year, the exploratory well GK-28-2  drilled in the Kutch Basin discovered oil in Mundra Formation in deeper Mesozoic section.  This was the first oil discovery from Mesozoic section in this Basin which will provided boost to the deeper Mesozoic exploration in the area. Similarly, in KG offshore sector the exploration for deeper synrift plays have been rewarded by success at G-4 -6 and YS-5 and 6 adding 89 MMt O+OEG inplace.

    The exploratory well C-1-6, on C-1 prospect in western offshore for shallower play had encountered 100m of gas column, which is under assessment.  All these discoveries have been reported to DGH by the company.

II. ONGC begins Shale Gas exploration

    Continuing its untiring efforts to explore natural hydrocarbons in unconventional reservoirs, ONGC has ventured into Shale Gas exploration by spudding the first Shale Gas well RNSG-1 in Ichapur village near Durgapur in Burdwan District of West Bengal on September 21, 2010.  The well is targeted to a depth of 2000 mts and will be assessing the Shale Gas potential of about 700 mts thick shale. of Permian age which is about 250 to 300 million years old. As its R&D efforts,  ONGC plans to drill three more wells in Damodar Valley by end of XI  Plan.

    Supplementary information :

    Shale gas is natural gas contained within shale formations. Shale gas exploration and production around the globe in general, and US in particular, has witnessed a surge in activity in the recent times and is making substantial contribution to gas production to the extent that Shale gas is often regarded as ‘a game changer’ in the hydrocarbon industry.  In USA, Shale gas production contributes to nearly 17% of their total gas production. Many other countries and major oil companies (BP, Chevron, Exxon etc) are indulging in aggressive Shale Gas exploration programmes for shale gas across the globe. However, despite the fact that several other developed and developing countries are delving into Shale Gas exploration, commercial success is presently confined to the US and Canada.

    In the Indian context, Shale gas exploration is a new entrant in the unconventional hydrocarbon resource. The fact that India has large basinal areas with thick shale facies, and the recent advances in the Shale gas business in the western world has impelled Shale gas exploration in ONGC.  A systematic approach was therefore initiated by ONGC in 2006 to identify characterize and prioritize some of the Indian basins in the promising basins which prima facie appear to be interesting from Shale Gas point of view drawing analogy from US basins. Based on gas content measurements in major shale sequences, geochemical parameters, logistics and depth considerations, Damodar and Cambay basins were identified as priority areas.

    Presently ONGC has worked out a comprehensive shale gas pilot execution programme to test flow the shale gas in the field and learn about proprietary technologies, initially in the Damodar Valley basins.  The beginning has been made with the spudding of the first well. The contract has been awarded to M/s Schlumberger and the results of this well is expected by 30th October, 2010.


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