Cairn India Ltd. said it has spudded the first exploratory well in more than 4 years on the RJ-ON-90/1 development block in the Barmer basin in Rajasthan, India.
The management committee endorsed the exploratory work program earlier this month “pursuant to the clarity in policy by the government of India allowing for exploration operations in development blocks."
Cairn India said renewed exploration will help unlock the estimated half a billion barrels of oil equivalent of risked recoverable prospective resource that amounts to about a third of estimated ultimate recovery potential on the block.
The joint venture is producing 170,000-175,000 b/d of oil from the block and sees the potential to reach 300,000 b/d. Its focus is to exit the 2013-14 fiscal year at 200,000-215,000 b/d.
Cairn India has made 25 discoveries on the block since finding Mangala oil field in early 2004. The main development area covers 1,859 sq km and includes Mangala, Aishwariya, Raageshwari, and Saraswati fields. Cairn India operates with 70% interest, and Oil & Natural Gas Corp. has 30%.
The two companies share in the same proportion two further development areas, 430 sq km that includes Bhagyam and Shakti fields and 822 sq km for the Kaameshwari West Development Area.
Mangala, Bhagyam, and Aishwariya fields have gross recoverable oil reserves and resources of 1 billion bbl, which includes 636 million boe of proved plus probable gross reserves and resources and a further 300 million boe or more of enhanced oil recovery potential.
The Rajasthan block contributes more than one-fifth of India’s domestic crude production. The total resource base supports a vision to produce 300,000 b/d of oil, equivalent to more than 35% of India’s current domestic crude production, subject to further investments and regulatory approvals.