Panel to gauge Cairn Barmer blocks gas potential on Sept 4

Written by Siddhartha P Saikia | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 30 2014, 08:07am hrs
The management committee for the Cairn India-operated Barmer block in Rajasthan is likely to meet early next month to decide on ramping up output from the acreage.

The meeting is expected to be held on September 4 to discuss the field development plan, a senior government official told FE. The committee comprises the petroleum ministry, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), Cairn India and its PSU partner ONGC.

ONGC, which holds 30% in the block, is reportedly delaying ramp-up at the highest onshore crude producing block.

We have asked ONGC to speed up. The ministry would fast-track the process, another petroleum ministry official said.

In FY14, the block produced 66.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe). It also achieved a milestone production of 200,000 boepd.

The meeting is likely to discuss gas potential in the block. Vedanta Group company Cairn Indias case for a 10-year extension of the production sharing contract may get strengthened with the company reportedly finding substantial new reserves in the block.

Once the panel approves the findings, the explorers can go ahead and monetise the reserves. Recent unconfirmed reports have said Cairn has found gas reserves ranging from 3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) to 9 tcf. If true, 9 tcf of gas could lead to a peak production of 50-60 mscmd. The countrys largest explorer, ONGC, produces the same quantity of gas.

However, the company didnt share its outlook on gas output. Till now, it has not filed any field development plan for new gas discoveries with the designated committee. It did not respond to an email seeking details of the its plans.

Cairn India has found a prolific gas field Raageshwari south of the Barmer block. Gas from the field is processed at Raageshwari gas terminal, situated about 80 km from crude processing terminal Mangala. Estimates show the Raageshwari field could produce up to 8-15 mscmd of natural gas.

The explorer targets to spend $2.4 billion over the next three years and believes the entire oil cannot be taken out before 2030. It has projected Barmer production to grow at 7-10% (CAGR) for the three years starting FY16.