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Cover Story | July 2014

Gas development in Rajasthan

Cairn India's Rajasthan oil block is currently witnessing a new focus on gas prospects. The company in its annual results had informed the market that development of the Raageshwari Deep gasfield is presently underway.

With the addition of higher capacity rigs in its drilling program, Cairn India has been able to drill two high impact prospects to test potential gas accumulation in the deeper section. The initial results obtained are encouraging and testing is underway. "Initial results from two high impact prospects drilled during the current exploration campaign are encouraging," says Cairn.

According to experts, natural gas in this prolific onshore hydrocarbon block exists in the form of associated natural gas in the oil reservoirs as well as non-associated natural gas in gas reservoirs.

Upgrading existing facilities
Raageshwari Deep gasfield is a major gasfield, located down south of Cairn India's Rajasthan block. Gas from the Raageshwari field is currently processed at Raageshwari Gas Terminal (RGT) located approximately 80 km from Mangala Processing Terminal (MPT).

"We have plans to upgrade the existing Raageshwari Gas Terminal and are looking at options to construct a new gas pipeline to monetise the additional gas potential in the block," Cairn India had informed the market earlier.

Earlier this month, ONGC-Cairn JV has floated a query inviting Expression of Interest under International Competitive Bidding ("ICB") process from reputed contractors (Indian and international) for upgrading the facility. The new gas processing plant at existing Raageshwari Gas Terminal will be designed for processing 100 to 300 MMSCFD of produced gas with CGR of 120 bbls/mmscfd and WGR of 20 bbls/mmscfd.

Infrastructure is also being created to capture significant natural gas liquids potential in the block. The scope of work involves detailed design, engineering, procurement, fabrication, complete installation and commissioning on an EPC basis.

According to industry sources, the new gas processing train/trains shall be designed for a modularised installation approach to minimise site work and facilitating early execution. Pre-fabricated/ pre-assembled and ready to install modularised units will be used as far as possible.

Also as a part of Rajasthan Gas Development Project, ONGC-Cairn JV intends to install a natural gas pipelines system to take the gas to the nearest grid. An international expression of interest has been floated for the same.

The project broadly involves installation of 24"/30" Natural Gas Trunk Pipeline System (the "Export Pipeline") from the existing Raageshwari Gas Processing Terminal (RGT) at Barmer, Rajasthan to Palanpur, Gujarat. The length of the proposed cross-country Natural Gas Trunk Pipeline shall be approximately 200 km. The project shall also involve installation of infield pipelines network ("Feeder Lines") complete with associated tap-offs & hook-ups.

According to industry information, the 200-km pipeline from the Raageshwari Gas Processing Terminal to Gujarat State Petronet's terminal at Palanpur is likely to attract bids from Essar Projects, Kalpataru, Punj Lloyd, Corrtech Energy, JSIW Infrastructure, Jaihind Projects, Fernas and KazStroyService, among others.

Blast from the past
Since resumption of exploration in March 2013, Cairn India has drilled out 50 per cent of gross prospective resource base of 530 million barrels of oil equivalent. The exploration program undertaken by Cairn India in Rajasthan has led to opening up 5 new play types, proving up a resource base of over 1 billion BOE in place, in addition to the existing 4.2 billion BOE.

Cairn India had recently confirmed that out of the 17 exploration wells drilled to date, over 80 per cent have shown hydrocarbons. Also, 6 more discoveries have been established in the prolific Rajasthan block and the testing of the other hydrocarbon bearing wells is underway. Cairn India has informed that the evaluation of the discoveries in the tight reservoirs is on-going to establish recovery rates.

In Q1 of the current calendar year, Cairn India has tested three exploration wells, leading to two new discoveries in the block. The Guda-South-7 well flowed oil at an initial rate of 92bopd from two zones in the Dharvi Dungar Carbonaceous Shale (DDCS) formation, making it the 29th discovery and establishing DDCS as a significant play in the southern part of the block. The Barmer Hill formation was tested through a well NR-3-2100, which flowed oil at 62 bopd and was established as the 30th discovery. In April 2014, another new discovery has been established, Kaameshwari West 8 in Dharvi Dungar formation, flowing oil at 117 bopd.

Rahul Kamat

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