Oilex, Videocon, GAIL, BPCL and HPCL consortium commences drilling in Oman

New Delhi: A consortium of Oilex of Australia, Videocon Industries, GAIL, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have started drilling on an exploration block they had won in Oman.

According to a statement by Oilex, the Sarha-1 exploration well was spudded on 31 December, 2007, and is the first of three exploration wells which will be drilled in Block 56, using the Abraj Rig 2004.

Over 18 days, the well will be drilled to a depth of 1,650 metres.

The consortium was awarded the Block 56 in July 2006. The statement said that till date, a significant volume of existing seismic data had been reprocessed, and during 2007 a large programme of new 2D seismic data was acquired. On the basis of the reprocessed data and existing 3D seismic surveys in the western part of the block, a number of exploration well locations were developed for drilling during 2008.

Sarha-1 is the first of these wells, located on the eastern flank of the South Oman Salt Basin adjacent to several producing fields. Oilex, Videocon and GAIL India hold 25 per cent interest each in the Block 56 while HPCL and BPCL have 12.5 per cent each.

According to the release, several of the fields in the area hold over 500 million barrels of oil in place.