In Singapore, Gazprom Zarubezhneftegaz CJSC and the Project Office of Gazprom OJSC's Operator in India have signed a contract on the drilling of the third prospecting well in Block 26 in the Bay of Bengal with the Japanese drilling company Japan Drilling Co. Ltd.
To provide for exploration in this license block, the NEC-W-1 prospecting well of a depth of 3,200 m will be constructed using the semi-submersible drilling rig Hakuryu-5.
Mobilization of the rig will commence on 29 January, and the drilling is planned to start in early March. It is planned to test eight targets. The drilling, taking into account the testing of the well, is expected to take 5 months.
Considering past experiences, the contract with Japan Drilling Co. Ltd. has been prepared and signed with the involvement of Herbert Smith, a UK law firm.
Japan Drilling Co. Ltd. was established in 1968 as the sole Japanese offshore drilling contractor and has since expanded its network of drilling for oil and gas in various offshore areas, in particular in Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and West Africa. Apart from drilling, Japan Drilling Co. provides engineering services concerned with the study and operation of oil and gas wells, as well as exploration and development of hydrate and methane deposits.
The Production Sharing Agreement between the Government of India, Gazprom OJSC and the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) concerning the contract Block NEC-OSN-97/1 (Block 26) was signed on 3 October 2000.
The Agreement entered into force on 14 November 2000, which corresponds to the issue date of the license allowing work to be carried out on Block 26. The Agreement envisages a three-phase exploration programme over a period of 7 years with subsequent development and exploitation of any fields discovered over a period of 20 years.
The PSA is administered through a Management Committee, consisting of two representatives from the Indian Government and one representative from each of the contractors.
Gazprom Zarubezhneftegaz CJSC, whose interests in India are represented by the Project Office of Gazprom OJSC, has been appointed to be the operator of this project from Gazprom's side.
To date, within the scope of Phases I and II, offshore 2D seismic surveys, processing and interpretation of data have been carried out for 2,068 linear km. Based on interpretation of the data obtained and available, seismofacial zoning has been carried out, a geological-geophysical model has been constructed, and sectors for conducting 3D seismic survey work have been identified.
3D and 2D seismic survey work (530 km2/40 linear km) has been carried out, and based on the results obtained, prospects for oil and gas content of previously selected sites along with the nature of oil-and-gas enrichments, have been assessed.
Two exploratory wells have been drilled: GG-1 (to a depth of 2,445 m) and NEC-FA-5 (to a depth of 4,338 m).