Cairn Rajasthan reserves over 2.5b barrels

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, July 18:

Britain’s Cairn Energy estimates the oil reserves, excluding gas, in its Rajasthan basin in Barmer district to be over 2.5 billion barrels, the company stated today in its latest update.

“Cairn currently estimates the total oil in place in all 12 existing discoveries to date in the Rajasthan basin, excluding gas, to be in excess of 2.5 billion barrels (bbls),” the company stated ahead of the announcement of its interim results for January-June 2005 tomorrow.

Planning to commence production from 2007, Cairn is making good progress on the development of the three largest discoveries to date in the northern part of the Rajasthan basin — Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya. “The final draft of the field development plans for the Mangala, Aishwariya, Saraswati and Raageshwari fields is scheduled for submission in August to our joint venture partners Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) for a final review, after which they will be submitted to the government for approval,” the company said. The combined proved plus probable (2P) oil in place for the Fatehgarh reservoir in these three fields has been independently certified to be 1.64 bbls. Cairn estimates that the associated reserves based on secondary recovery are at least 500 million barrels (mmbbls).

Additional recovery from Mangala and Bhagyam using enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques

has the potential to add up to a further 150 mmbbls of reserves. “The combined production target for these three northern fields is currently planned to be between 120,000 and 150,000

barrels of oil a day (bopd). The first oil production from Mangala field is scheduled for the end of 2007,” the company said. “As we continue exploration and appraisal, it is very clear that this basin will not only provide substantial oil production and cash flow from the large northern fields but will also provide future growth and re-investment potential for Cairn from other reservoirs and smaller fields, both discovered and yet to be discovered,” said Cairn CEO Bill Gammell.

Cairn has previously announced a further nine discoveries in the basin. Subject to successful appraisal, it intends to develop these discoveries. Besides the high quality Fatehgarh reservoirs in the north, the company is undertaking an appraisal of the lower quality reservoirs in the southern area. Since the last operational update in June, the company has drilled a number of exploration and appraisal wells across the basin. A new small Fatehgarh discovery has been made in the north near the existing Shakti field. The recent appraisal drilling and testing activity has concentrated in the southern area in and around the Raageshwari Guda and GR-F discoveries. In May, the government granted the company 18-month extension of the exploration licence for the northern area. While moving rapidly from discovery to production in Rajasthan, Cairn is also planning a three-well drilling programme in the deepwater block of the Krishna-Godavari basin off the east coast of India. Partially farmed out to ONGC, Cairn has retained a 10 per cent interest in this block.