Cairn launches fresh oil hunt in Rajasthan block

Cairn India today said it has begun drilling its first exploration well in four years in the prolific Rajasthan block by which it expects to boost output to 215,000 barrels per day by March 2014.

A block oversight committee, headed by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), had on 14 February allowed the company to drill three wells to explore new oil pools on Rajasthan block this fiscal.

"Following endorsement of the exploration work programme for the Rajasthan block by the management committee less than two weeks ago, Cairn India today commenced drilling of the first exploration well, after a gap of more than four years, in the prolific Barmer Basin," the company said in a statement.

Cairn currently produces 170,000-175,000 bpd from the Rajasthan block and plans to finish 2013-14 with a production of 200,000-215,000 bpd from the block.   

"This (drilling) is pursuant to the clarity in policy by the government of India, allowing for exploration operations in development blocks," the statement said.

Cairn plans to drill 30 exploration wells by March 2014 and a similar number in the year thereafter.

"Renewed exploration activity in the block will help us realise the estimated half a billion barrels of oil equivalent of risked recoverable prospective resource, which amounts to about a third of the Estimated Ultimate Recovery potential in the Rajasthan block," it said.