Moscow. 20 October INTERFAX-AGI - The steering committee for the Production Sharing Agreement Project involving Gazprom in India has decided to continue the works, despite negative results from previously performed exploration work - the two wells which have already been drilled proved to be dry.
Gazprom zarubezhneftegaz's press service reports that the 7th meeting of the NEC-OSN-97/1 (N26) block (Bay of Bengal, India) geological mineral exploration committee took place on Friday, in accordance with the production sharing agreement (PSA) between the Indian government, Gazprom (RTS exchange code: GAZP) and the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL).
The committee made a decision to extend the exploration work for 18 months from the date of the meeting, with the aim of completing the additional programme of works proposed by the operator. Within the scope of Phase III, 2D offshore seismic data investigation is planned over an area of 1,600 linear kilometres and the drilling of one well to a depth of roughly 5,000 metres (or to its geological objective).
The participants at the meeting also discussed the 2009-2011 plan of works.
Two wells have already been sunk in Block N26. Based on the results from drillling the first well, the operator concluded that "the prospects for detecting trapped pools (...) had not been confirmed". When drilling the second well, no influx was obtained at all - Zarubezhneftegaz's annual report states that "the reservoirs are assessed to be permeable".
GAIL left the project after the drilling of the second well, but the Indian government asked Gazprom to stay on in the project, which it did. A source in Gazprom revealed to AGI (Agenstvo gazovoy informatziy - Gas Information Agency) that this project is considered to have no future, and that the Russian company is remaining involved strictly for political reasons.
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