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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

RIL suspends drilling with Transocean equipment

Reliance Industries has suspended drilling of a well in KG Basin using a rig hired from Transocean, whose drillship had last month exploded causing a huge oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company's junior partner in block KG-DWN-2003/1 (or D3) Hardy Oil and Gas said there were "unresolved mechanical issues" with Transocean's rig 'Deepwater Expedition' which was drilling an exploration well on the block.

Reliance Industries spokesperson offered no comments on the drilling suspension.

US-based Transocean's Deepwater Horizon had exploded on April 20, killing 11 people and causing a leakage in a well leased by BP.

A US Congressional committee has been told that the blow out preventer (BOP) on Deepwater Horizon had a leak in its crucial hydraulic system.

"The KGV-D3-W1 exploration well (in D3 block) has been temporarily suspended due to unresolved mechanical issues associated with the blow out preventer (BOP) of the Deepwater Expedition drilling rig," Hardy Oil said in a statement.

The KGV-D3-W1 exploration well commenced drilling on April 2 using the Transocean rig Deepwater Expedition. The well was drilled to a depth of 2,608 meters.

"Subsequently, the operator (RIL) spent a considerable amount of time attempting to resolve a problem with the control system of the drilling rig's BOP.

"The operator has been unable to resolve the issue to its satisfaction and, mindful of safety and operational matters, has taken the decision to suspend the well," Hardy said.

RIL has 90 per cent interest in D3 and Hardy the remaining 10 per cent. It has made two significant gas discoveries (Dhirubhai 39 and 41) in the block till date.

The well, Hardy, said, will be re-drilled using an alternative deepwater rig.

It, however, did not say what would be the fate of Deepwater Expedition drilling rig.

Hardy Chief Executive Officer Yogeshwar Sharma said: "In the interest of safety, the D3 joint venture has taken the considered decision to suspend the W1 well. The operator (RIL) is working towards mobilising an alternative rig at the earliest opportunity."

The KGV-D3-W1 exploration well was located in water depth of 1,653 meters. The target depth of the well, which aims to explore the hydrocarbon potential of Mio-Pliocene sands, was 3,514 meters.

The Block D3 is located in the Krishna Godavari Basin on the East Coast of India and covers an area of approximately 3,288 square kilometers.

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