India is making a significant push for oil and gas development in the Andaman deep sea basin.

According to persons familiar with the situation, India is making a significant push for oil and gas development in the Andaman deep sea basin, with the government proposing to fund an Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) led drilling effort and ease approvals.

Accelerating exploration is central to the government's strategy to boost local oil and gas output while reducing imports at a time when high gasoline costs are plaguing consumers.

ONGC intends to start the drilling campaign in the Andaman offshore after the monsoon and is now in negotiations with the government.

They indicated ExxonMobil and Shell will be involved in the project. ONGC is scheduled to drill 3-4 wells in the Andaman Sea under a special government-funded initiative, with each well costing around Rs 350-400 crore, they added.

The government has obtained 22,500 line kilometers of 2D seismic data over the "No-Go" zone as part of its "National Island Exploration Project," and plans to support the drilling of a few evaluation wells in these locations.

ONGC has analyzed the data but would like a third-party evaluation by international businesses with deep-water experience. According to the persons named above, it intends to hire worldwide businesses or consultants to do an evaluation of the Andaman basin, petroleum system modelling studies, and de-risking of selected prospects prior to drilling.

According to ONGC, conversations have begun with ExxonMobil and Shell to solicit their perspectives on the Andaman potential, as well as to enlist them as partners if they show interest in the project.

ONGC already has two blocks in the Andaman seas, which were obtained through open acreage licensing rounds. Aside from that, ONGC and Oil India each own one block in the Andaman offshore, which they won in licensing rounds years ago. Easier clearances will also allow the two corporations to move more quickly in their respective blocks.

High oil and gas prices have heightened the government's exploration push, which has recently included the awarding of large acreages to state and private companies and the launch of a government-funded plan to collect vast amounts of geological data in order to identify hydrocarbon potential across the country.

You might also like