ONGC has requested the petroleum ministry for second extension of Phase-II exploration for NELP-IV deepwater block NEC-DWN-2002/2 in Mahanadi Basin. The block, covering an area of 15,465 sq. km., was awarded to ONGC in March 2004 for a period of 8 years in three phases.
The Exploration Phase-I expired on September 16, 2012, after availing Rig moratorium period and three extensions of six months each. Presently the block is under first extension of Exploration Phase- II starting from March 17, 2013 to September 16, 2013. The present block area is 11,586 sq. km. after relinquishment of mandatory 25 per cent of block area at the end of first phase of exploration.
ONGC informed that all the minimum work program commitments of Phase-II exploration except the drilling activities have been completed. It stated that due to limited availability of suitable deep water rig, it will not be able to complete drilling of the pending one well before the expiry of the first extension of Exploration Phase- II of the block.
In view of this, the operator requested the petroleum ministry for second extension of 12 months of Exploration Phase-II from September 17, 2013 to September 16, 2014 for the block.