$100 million investment in Assam-Nagaland oilfields

Monday, 22 October 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Guwahati: An Indian and a Canadian exploration consortium will be investing $100 million in exploring two new reservoirs of crude oil and natural gas discovered in the northeastern states of Assam and Nagaland.

An Indian petroleum ministry official said the Assam Company Limited (ACL) and its Canadian partner, Canoro Resources Limited, have found oil and natural gas at two drilling blocks in Amguri near Jorhat in Assam and one at Changpang in Nagaland.

According to preliminary estimates, the two reservoirs could yield up to 3,100 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) a day -- 1,200 barrels of oil condensate and 12 million cubic feet of gas per day.

"The two reservoirs could thus yield a total of over 3,100 BOE a day and this is by far our most successful result to date," Rob McInnis, vice president of Canoro's corporate affairs department, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the company had reported discovery of 1,000 BOE a day in a different well in the Amguri block that is part of the oil-rich Assam-Arakan basin.

"The consortium has struck extremely high quality oil and gas at the two sites and according to plans they would pump in about $100 million in the two sites for exploration work," an Indian petroleum ministry official told IANS.

"This would greatly boost oil productivity in the region."

The consortium would begin exploring about eight wells in the block in the first phase of the exploration work that is likely to begin shortly.

"If the appraisal wells are successful, additional development wells would be planned in phase two of the programme," the Canoro statement said.

The ACL has 40 and 35 percent working interest in the Assam and Nagaland oilfields, while the Canadian company holds 60 and 65 percent respectively in the two blocks.

The Amguri oilfield (this includes Nagaland areas as well) spread over an area 52.75 sq km is believed to have an estimated oil reserve of 50 million barrels, besides associated free gas reserves.

Canoro is also involved in exploration works in the adjoining state of Arunachal Pradesh in collaboration with French and an Indian oil company. Earlier this year, there were two new oil and gas finds in Assam.

London-based Premier Oil, a leading independent oil and gas company with producing interests in Britain, Indonesia, Pakistan, Africa, and Southeast Asia, have found gas at a drilling block at Pechadhar near Silchar in southern Assam, about 320 km from the state's main city of Guwahati.

Premier Oil began work in Assam's Cachar district in January. The Cachar block covers 2,570 sq km and lies adjacent to large gas discoveries in eastern Bangladesh.

The company will drill two more wells in the adjoining Hailakandi district soon. India's premier oil exploration firm, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, has already struck gas in the area -- known to be a high potential zone for oil and gas.

Assam has over 1.3 billion tonnes of crude oil and 156 billion cubic metres of natural gas reserves of which an estimated 58 percent of hydrocarbon reserves are yet to be explored.

Assam currently produces about five million cubic metres of natural gas annually.
Source: IANS
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