Vedanta Group company Cairn India’s case for 10-year extension of the production sharing contract for the Barmer block in Rajasthan may get strengthened with the company reportedly finding substantial new reserves in the block.
However, the company refused to give an outlook its gas production. Neither has it filed any field development plan for new gas discoveries with the designated panel comprising oil ministry officials, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon.
The Barmer block is primarily producing crude oil and country's largest onshore producing asset. In FY14, the block produced 66.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe). It also achieved a milestone production of 200,000 boepd.
Cairn is believed to have found gas reserves ranging from 3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) to 9 tcf. If it is true, 9 tcf of gas could lead to peak production of about 50-60 mmscmd. Currently, country's largest explorer ONGC is producing the same quantity of gas.
“We have heard that the OC (operating committee) has given the go-ahead. But nothing firm has reached DGH yet,” said an official at the regulator. The field development plan outlines the exact production profile of a block. Earlier, the DGH has turned down its request for a 10-year extension of the production-sharing contract (PSC) for its prolific Barmer block. The PSC is set to expire on May 14, 2020, and the DGH said not more than a five-year extension from that date could be given. The regulator is of the view that Barmer is primarily oil-producing and hence the contract can be extended only for five years. In case it was a gas field, the PSC could have been extended by another 10 years.
A top official at the petroleum ministry hinted that since Cairn is eyeing for a 10-year extension of PSC, it may be trying to monetise the gas
Barmer is a tight reservoir and non-continuous reservoir. Nearly, 30 wells have been drilled and gas potential has been assessed, said the DGH official.
Cairn India has found a prolific gas field – Raageshwari – in the south of the Barmer block in Rajasthan. Gas from the field is currently processed at Raageshwari gas terminal (RGT), which is situated at about 80 km from crude oil processing terminal known as Mangala processing terminal (MPT). The current estimates show that the Raageshwari filed could produce up to 8-15 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) of natural gas