Cairn India plans to treble natural gas production from its predominantly oil-rich Rajasthan block to 3 million standard cubic meters per day by mid-2018.
Cairn currently produces around 1 mmscmd of gas from the Raageshwari gas field in the Barmer district block RJ-ON-90/1.
In an application to the downstream regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) seeking approval to lay a pipeline to Gujarat for transporting gas, Cairn said it plans to drill a minimum of 42 more wells to augment and sustain the gas supply in the next three years.
"Drilling for new wells is expected to start in Q1 of FYs 2016-17 with contracting for drilling rig, related equipment and services at an advanced stage," the energy major said in the March 16 application.
Cairn said it was further developing the field "on a fast track-basis to increase the gas production from the block to cater to the significant unmet demand for gas in the country".
The gas produced from the Raageshwari Deep Gas (RGD) field would be gathered and treated at the proposed RDG terminal at Gudamalani in Barmer district, from where it would be evacuated through a new 194-km, 24-inch pipeline to the nearest available gas grid which is the GSPL's Gujarat Gas Grid with connectivity at Palanpur terminal.
"Given the advanced status of gas producing wells and surface facilities, we envisage gas production through the new facilities latest by H12017," Cairn said, adding, "Subsequent to ramp-up over a period of one year (from H1, 2017), the estimated gas production will be 3 mmscmd plateau for a period of five years with an overall profile of 15 years."
Out of this, around 2.6 mmscmd will be for external sales, while the rest will be for internal consumption in the RJ Block and for meeting the heating requirements, it said.
The field has recoverable gas reserves of 359 billion cubic feet (10.25 billion cubic meters). The reserves have been independently verified by DeGoyler & McNaughton (D&M).
"Additional gas production is also expected from significant in-place reserves and on-going exploration activities," Cairn said.
Cairn is the operator of the block with 70 per cent interest while state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) holds the remaining 30 per cent.
"The timely evacuation of gas through this proposed pipeline is critical to ensure domestic gas availability in the significantly gas scarce market," the energy company said, adding that early monetisation of the gas potential required an early construction of the export pipeline.
Cairn has so far made 26 oil and gas discoveries in the Rajasthan block and is currently producing around 1,75,000 barrels of oil per day.