mercator_CB-ONN-2005/9_ProjectsMonitorMercator has requested the Directorate general of Hydrocarbons (DGH) for an early consideration of the reduction of Minimum Work Program for Phase-I for development of its block CB-ONN-2005/9. The exploration and production Company had submitted the request to DGH in September 2012. However, the Company is still awaiting a final decision in this regard.

Mercator has mentioned that at the time of granting of Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL), the Block area was reduced from 170 sq. km. to 132 sq. km. Following this, the Company requested for proportional reduction in MWP for phase-I exploration. In a letter to DGH, Mercator informed that the southern portion of the Block, which has been excluded from the PEL, is likely to have maximum sediment thickness. As a result, the overall prospects of the Block have been reduced considerably. It is therefore not feasible to drill the total number of wells as envisaged earlier.

Moreover, certain other factors have prevented acquisition of 2D and 3D data and geo-scientific surveys in certain parts of the PEL area. These factors include large portions of the PEL area being covered by substantially populated villages, several industrial units, railway line, national highway and swampy riverbed.

On the basis of these technical and logistic grounds, Mercator has requested to amend the MWP by reducing 2D acquisition, processing and interpretation quantity from 700 LKM to 539 LKM and 3D acquisition, processing and interpretation quantity from 170 sq. km. to 115 sq. km. covering entire PEL area. It also stated that the Magneto Tulleric acquisition should not be considered due to exclusion of the deepest part of the Block. Further, the Company requested reduction of the total meterage of exploration wells to be drilled during Phase-I from 31,660 meters to 15,000 meters, irrespective of the number of wells.

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