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ONGC to introduce `smart well' tech in marginal fields

Pratim Ranjan Bose

`Human intervention highly expensive in deepwater exploration'

ONGC claims to have sorted out its problems in developing the G1-GS15 field.

Kolkata , Aug. 25

ONGC is planning to introduce remote-control `smart well' technology in all the deepwater clusters of marginal fields lined up for development in the next three-four years. The technology was first introduced in G1-GS15 fields, which are now being commissioned, in KG basin with a peak production gain of 2.7 million metric standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) of gas.

The company has already approved an investment of Rs 3,195 crore in a cluster of C-series fields near Daman with peak production gain of 3 mmscmd natural gas. A Rs 3,000-crore development plan for B-series fields in the Western offshore is pending approval of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. Also under final stages of preparation is a development plan for G-0, G-4, GS-29 and Vasisth field clusters in the Eastern coast.

"Smart well is a necessity in the deepwater where human intervention can be highly expensive. We have introduced it for the first time in the G1-GS15 marginal fields. Though these fields are yet to be fully operational, we have gained relevant knowledge which would be useful in the future," a senior company official told Business Line.

According to him, the technology has also become relevant in view of the company's renewed thrust in developing the marginal fields. "In the next three-four years, marginal fields will contribute a substantial part of the total production by ONGC," the official said.

Meanwhile, ONGC claims to have sorted out its problems in developing the G1-GS15 field, which is now lagging behind the completion schedule. Apart from lack of weather window, the company attributed the delay to its turnkey contractor Clough Engineering of Germany.

"The contractor has failed to fulfil its obligations towards this Rs 1,000-crore project. We did not opt for termination of the contract, as it would lead to litigation and further delay in completion," the official said, adding that the project was now expected to be completed by April 2007.

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