Oil India’s exploration well Shalmari-45 at location DIM on Assam-Arunachal border has finally started producing between 22 and 25 kilolitres/day (138-158 b/d).
Oil India says this is a step forward in meeting the crude requirements of the refineries in Assam.
The entire production at Shalmari-45 is being evacuated by crude pipeline to a nearby Oil Collecting Station (OCS) at Shalmari village near Tingkhong town in Dibrugarh district.
Success at well Shalmari-45, however, didn’t come without its problems, forcing Oil India to sink three ‘holes’ since December 2018.
Spudded on December 7, 2018 with a planned Target Drilling (TD) of 4767 metres, Oil India encountered complications at 3727 metres TD.
The drillers were compelled to carry out a fishing’ operation to retrieve stuck tools.
In early 2019, Oil India abandoned hole ‘A’ and using company-owned 2000-hp rig VFD-1 (E-2000) then spud ‘B’ hole, reaching final TD of 4767 metres before encountering another ‘downhole’ problem.
Hole ‘B’ was also abandoned. Finally, Oil India spud a third hole ‘C’ and drilled it to 4728 metres final TD. “Only this (‘C’) hole was successful,” says an Oil India driller.
“In the other two holes, we had ‘fishing’ problems and cement contamination.”
Oil India ‘completed’ Shalmari-45 on November 28 last year, following which it carried out logging and testing.
By January this year, the well finally began producing crude.
Located on the south bank of the Burhi Dihing river, Shalmari is one of Oil India’s oldest fields with the first well drilled in 1986 targeting Barail and deeper Lakadong and Therria reservoirs.
Local Oil India officials told Northeast Now similar problems as those encountered at Shalmari-45 were experienced at other wells across the region.
At the nearby 429.42-sq km Moran PML, for example, Oil India spudded well Batuya-2 at location MFF-1 on July 21 last year but it is experiencing ongoing complications.
Using a 2000-hp rig, Oil India first drilled hole ‘A’ to 3560 metres before abandoning drilling. Soon after the rig spud hole ‘B’ and drilled to 2475 metres before abandoning drilling again.
By February 18 (2020), drilling of hole ‘C’ had reached 4550 metres. “Oil India is hoping for success here too,” says an official.
So Shalmari-45 is a precursor for a more comprehensive breakthrough in striking oil in the area, feel Oil India sources.