Offshore India Heats Up

Monday, August 06, 2001
U.S.-based Hardy Exploration and Production (India) Inc. has revived a declining oil field off India's southern coast and increased its output by over 2,000 bpd. Hardy Exploration's chief executive, Sastry Karra, said his company drilled India's deepest horizontal well of about 1,200 m to revive the PY-3 field and step up its output to 5,600 bpd from 3,600 bpd. "This lateral well flowing a light crude of 49 API and another one we are starting to drill today should extend the life of the PY-3 field by several years at least," Karra said. In April, Karra told Reuters the firm was likely to spend about $16 million for drilling two new lateral wells and using water injection technology to extend the life of the declining field -- then producing 4,000 bpd -- by another five years. Hardy is the field operator and holds 18 percent of equity in PY-3, located just off the southern Indian town of Pondicherry, in the Cauvery basin of the Bay of Bengal. It yields a low-sulfur, light crude of 50 API gravity. India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. has a 40 percent stake, while Tata Power Companies Tata Petrodyne and oil firm Hindustan Oil Exploration own 21 percent each. Hardy is owned by a U.K.-based private firm called Jehan Energy in which Karra has a stake. The revived PY-3 field is expected to yield at least an additional 1.5 million tons over its extended life. Hardy, which last month bagged exploration contracts for four new blocks along with its majority-partner Reliance Industries Ltd., is now eyeing possible redevelopment ventures with state-owned exploration firms ONGC and Oil India Ltd. "Now that we have proven ourselves and the technology needed to work marginal fields, we are hoping to tie up with the state-run firms for reviving dozens of their depleted fields which can help boost output by 10 to 15 percent ," Karra said. India currently pumps about 30 million tons per year or 600,000-700,000 bpd of crude and imports about 70 percent of its oil requirement. Output has fallen from 34 million tons six years ago. "Even if about 20 fields are taken up for redevelopment and each yields on average an additional 5,000-barrels per day, that should add another 100,000 barrels of oil and save the country some precious foreign exchange," Karra added. - (Reuters)

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