The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) will be drilling a phenomenal 100-plus exploratory wells in the Cambay Basin in Gujarat which seems to have suddenly become an epicenter of oil & gas discoveries.
The company recently received environment clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to drill 103 wells in 30 blocks in the districts of Mehsana and Patan districts which are the upper reaches of the Cambay basin. The company will be spending over Rs 670 crore in drilling these wells that will have a depth varying between 1000-3500 meters.
These 30 blocks are spread over an 1116 square kilometers. Interestingly, the proposed area for drilling these wells is known to have hydrocarbon reserves. About 1500 wells have already been drilled in the proposed area and the oil production is approximately 40,000 MTPD (Metric Tonnes Per Day).
According to officials of the company, ONGC plans to drill these 100-odd exploratory wells in the next five years. “Easy oil in the Cambay basin is over. Most of the oil in the basin is tertiary oil which lie deep or are difficult to extract. However, we are continuing to find more zones and explore newer areas that may have hydrocarbon reserves that can be commercially viable. The technological advancement in drilling is helping us find new reserves,” said a senior official of ONGC.
Exploratory drilling is a temporary activity and the company will be temporarily acquiring land (150 meter X 150 meter) for each well drilling. The wells will be drilled in blocks near Kadi, Linch, Nandasan, Sobhasan, Mehsana, Mansa, Langhnaj, Jotana, Charada, Sangapur, Jakasana and Patan.
Hydrocarbon exploration in Cambay Basin goes back to 1958, when ONGC drilled its first exploratory well on Lunej structure near Cambay. This turned out to be a discovery well, which produced oil and gas. The discovery of oil in Ankleshwar structure in 1960 gave further boost to the exploration in the Cambay Basin.
So far, ONGC has drilled more than 7000 wells in Cambay basin since inception, from around 94 established (small, medium and big) oil and gas fields. These efforts have led to a total of 117 hydrocarbon discoveries from this basin till date, officials added.
In spite of the dipping hydrocarbon reserves in Cambay, oil companies including ONGC have continue to strike oil. Recently, a New Delhi, based firm, Jay Polychem (India) Pvt Ltd made an oil discovery that is touted as the biggest onland find this year. In the last few years, companies like Reliance Industries, GSPC, Hindustan Oil Exploration Company, Niko Resources, Jubliant Oil & Gas Pvt Ltd, Cairn Energy India, Pty, Ltd, Essar Oil and others have made new oil discoveries in the Cambay basin.
This basin has been the most productive for ONGC in terms of oil and gas production after Mumbai offshore basin. During the year 2012-13. ONGC produced over 5.18 MMT of oil and 1845 MMSCM (million metric standard cubic meters) of gas.