Cairn India has written to the oil ministry stating that a large portion of its KG basin block is not conducive for exploration as the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) retained no go restrictions on the middle part of the diagonally square block.
The CCI had earlier this year lifted the defence ministrys no-go restrictions on just a portion of its KG-OSN-2009/3 block. This was because the remaining portions of the offshore block were within the impact zone of Indian Air Forces (IAF) Suryalanka Guided Weapon Firing Range (GWFR) and Machilipatnam launch site.
Cairn India on April 26 wrote to the ministry saying that after the CCI decision,35 per cent of its KG-OSN-2009/3 block is no-go area,which runs right through the block,leaving small portions on either side for exploration. The company stated that of the remaining block area,20 per cent is clear area and the remaining is high risk area,where exploration activity has been permitted with certain conditions.
This leaves only 40 per cent of the original contract area feasible for proper and effective exploration.
A Cairn India official said the no go restrictions run right through the areas of the block which hold the greatest potential for hydrocarbon reserves.
Moreover,it now becomes logistically very difficult to do any meaningful exploration in the remaining portions of the block. The company has requested the ministry for a cut in its minimum work commitment in proportion to the reduction in the operationally feasible block area.
Eight blocks,including RILs KG-D6 block and gas discovery area of NEC-25 in the north east coast region,were declared no-go zones for reasons like overlapping with a proposed naval base or being close to missile launching and air force exercise area. FE