Cairn Oil & Gas on Tuesday announced entering into a technical partnership with US-based Halliburton Company for raising 10-folds the reserve base at its offshore assets as well as for exploring shale oil and gas in Rajasthan. Cairn, a unit of mining group Vedanta Ltd, is investing USD 3-4 billion in exploration and production of oil and gas across its portfolio that consists of the prolific Rajasthan block, Ravva oil and gas field in Bay of Bengal and Cambay fields in western offshore.
The firm is targeting to reach 500,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas production in 2-3 years including a fifth from offshore areas, its CEO Prachur Sah said. "It is more than a technical partnership that we have entered into with Halliburton. We intend to use their technical expertise besides project execution capabilities," he said.
Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. "Under this alliance, Cairn will work with Halliburton to pursue the target of increasing its recoverable reserve from offshore assets to 300 million barrels oil equivalent -- a 10-fold increase from the present cumulative of 30 mmboe," the firm said in a statement.
Later talking to PTI, Sah said Cairn currently produces 25,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas from offshore areas which is intended to go up to 100,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas with the partnership with Halliburton in three years. Cairn, he said, is committed to doubling its capacity, contributing 50 percent to India's domestic crude production and assisting the country in its goal of achieving energy autonomy (aatmanirbharta).
The partnership for offshore assets will evolve through three distinct stages of conceptual design, conceptual detailing, and execution. This will include geological and seismic studies, well-designing and engineering, and drilling to determine recoverable reserves. The offshore assets include Ravva, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh, Cambay, on the western coast, and several newly acquired OALP blocks.
Halliburton is in the process of implementing a collaborative team of experts to collectively assess, plan and ultimately execute the project. The company will drive the use of innovative methodology that stems from its rich global experience. For shale collaboration, the chosen area in Lower Barmer Hills, Rajasthan, is estimated to have a shale potential of 3 billion barrels and with this partnership, Cairn aims to confirm a reserve of 300 mmboe.
India is yet to commercially produce shale and this partnership can play a pivotal role in driving energy sufficiency for the country. "To achieve energy sufficiency, India must improve upstream exploration, augment technology for brownfield and encourage unconventional energy resources such as shale. With this partnership, we are combining the best of global technology with the promise of new-age exploration of unconventional fuels," Sah said.
The exploration and production of shale has revolutionized US' energy landscape and for India too, the fuel can be a game-changer. Cairn and Halliburton will develop pilot drills to explore the potential of shale in the Barmer basin.
"The current shale potential here stands at 3 bn barrels and with this partnership, Cairn wants to establish a reserve of 300 mmboe," the statement said. Earlier this year, Cairn had also announced the beginning of tight oil production from the neighbouring Aishwarya Barmer Hill (ABH) site. India is yet to commercially produce shale and this association will be a significant step towards that end.
First Published: IST