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Block 2 New Exploration and Production Frontiers and Technologies F6 Exploring new frontiers: innovation and vision

Modern techniques of Exploration in Frontier Basins: Prospects in India

Vijai Kumar Baskaran

B.Tech. (Petroleum Engineering), IV-year University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, India Dr. S K Nanda,Retd. ONGC, India Kamal Chandra Dani,UPES,India

F6 Exploring new frontiers: innovation and vision Modern techniques of Exploration in Frontier Basins: Prospects in India

India has 26 sedimentary basins with a basinal area of approximately 1.8x 106 km2 (excluding deep waters), out of which seven are producing basins and two have proven to have potential. Exploration efforts in other basins, called frontier basins are in progress. Any new field for exploitative or developmental activity is known as a frontier. Low total resource volume, no large prospects, very low POS (probability of success) and low or very low LOK (level of knowledge) are some of the characteristics of frontier basins.

There are all together 17 onland frontier basins in India which includes Ganga, Narmada and Satpura basins. The offshore includes deep, ultra deep and shallow frontier basins (Bengal basin, Kutch Saurashtra, Kerala konkan, Andaman basin and Mahanadi basin).
The technology used in exploration includes integration of various elements like seismic interpretation, wellbore analysis, bio-stratigraphic studies, geochemical analysis, core integration etc. The frontier technologies being in implemented in India are magnetotelluric, passive seismic tomography, thermoluminiscence, time frequency electromagnetic methods and synthetic aperture RADAR methods etc. The challenges faced during exploration include complex geology problems, logistics, sub basalt imaging, poor seismic data etc. The forthcoming frontiers include prospects in coal bed methane, shale gas, gas hydrates, tight gas reservoirs, heavy oil and underground coal gasification (UCG).


Frontier Basins Indian onland Frontier Basins India Hydrocarbon vision 2025 Modern Frontier Technologies and Techniques Forthcoming frontiers Conclusion References

Frontier Basin:
The frontier basin is a basin where the exploration activities have not been carried out or a basin with short-term exploration activities and a significant volume categorized as undiscovered resources. Frontiers in Exploration:
Poorly explored Logistically difficult Poorly understood High risk, Uncertain reward High cost & Technology intensive No commercial discovery Unexploited technology

The total sedimentary basinal area of India is around 3.14 million sq km out of which onland-shallow offshore (up to 200 m isobaths) comprises 1.8 million sq. km and 1.3 million sq. km is deep waters.
Twenty six sedimentary basins have been recognized and they have been divided into four categories viz., 1.Producing basins, 2.Basins with identified prospectivity, 3.Prospective basins and 4.Potentially prospective basins. Out of 26 sedimentary basins in the country, production has been undertaken in only seven basins and almost two-thirds of the total sedimentary area remains unexplored/poorly explored.

26 sedimentary basins
Total area:3.14 million sq.km

Category I: Proven commercial productivity Proved petroliferous basins with commercial production (Cambay, Mumbai Offshore, Assam Shelf, Krishna-Godavari, Cauvery, Assam-Arakan Fold Belt and Rajasthan basins) Category II: Identified prospectivity Basins with known HC occurrences but no commercial production (Kachchh, Andaman-Nicobar and Mahanadi basins) Category III: Prospective basins Basins with no significant HC shows but assumed geologically prospective (Himalayan foreland, Ganga Vindhyan, Konkan-Kerala- Lakshadweep and Bengal basins) Category IV: Potentially prospective Frontier areas with uncertain prospects, deemed prospective on global analogy (Karewa, Spiti- Zanskar, Satpura, South Rewa, Damodar, Narmada, Deccan Syneclise, Cuddapah, Bhima-Kalagdi, Pranhita-Godavari, Bastar and Chhatisgarh basins)

Category I Category II Category III

Category IV Deep sea basin Tectonised sediments

Categorization of Indian sedimentary basins in Hydro-Carbon exploration point of view


Hydrocarbon resources of Indian Sedimentary basins (Figures in MMt) (O+OEG)

Cambay, Mumbai Offshore, Assam Shelf, Krishna-Godavari, Cauvery, Assam-Arakan Fold Belt and Rajasthan basins

As of 01-01-04,Souce:DGH,India

Indian Onland Frontier Basins

1. Karewa 2 .Spiti-Zanskar-Kashmir 3 .Himalayan Foreland 4 .Ganga Basin 5 .Kutch 6 .Saurashtra 7 .Satpura-S. Rewa-Damodar 8 .Pranhita-Godavari 9 .Deccan Syneclise 10 .Narmada 11 .Bikaner Nagaur 12 .Vindhyan 13 .Cuddapah 14 .Chattisgarh 15 .Bastar 16 .Bhima 17 .Kaladgi


Energy Demand
Energy demand 2007 (11.1 btoe)
Energy demand 2030 (17.7 btoe)
USA 19% Others 40%

USA 21.3% Others 42% China Russia 17% 6% Brazil 2% Canada 3% Japan 5% India 3.6%
Brazil 2% Canada 3%

Russia 6% Japan 4% India 5%

China 21%

Energy demand increases by 60- 65% [world], ~ 40% [India] India is 30% self sufficient
Source: IEO 2007 of EIA, USA

The need for Modern Techniques in Exploration: India-view INDIA HYDROCARBON VISION - 2025 Objectives: a) To undertake a total appraisal of Indian sedimentary basins for tapping the hydrocarbon potential and to optimize production of crude oil and natural gas in the most efficient manner so as to have Reserve Replacement Ratio of more than 1. b) To keep pace with technological advancement and application and be at the technological forefront in the global exploration and production industry.

To achieve the above objectives the following actions are required to be taken

Medium term
Continue exploration in producing basins. Aggressively pursue extensive exploration in non-producing and frontier basins for knowledge building and new discoveries, including in deep-sea offshore areas. Finalize a programme for appraisal of the Indian sedimentary basins to the extent of 25% by 2005, 50% by 2010, 75% by 2015 and 100% by 2025.

Long term
100% exploration coverage of the Indian sedimentary basins by 2025. Leap frog to technological superiority. Put in place abandonment practices to restore the original base line. Conserve resources and adopt clean technologies.

Modern Frontier Technologies and Techniques Multi component seismic Magneto-Telluric methods Passive seismic tomography Thermoluminiscence Time frequency electromagnetic method

Multi Component Seismic

Imaging below basalts Long offset 2D Over/under shooting Low frequency seismic

4C OBC (Four Component Ocean Bottom cable) Imaging below gas clouds Fracture density and orientation S-waves can provide valuable insight into the nature of subsurface lithology and pore saturating fluids, highlighting reservoirs previously not visible using P-waves Reservoir surveillance Operation in and around obstacles Greater bandwidth

Controlled Beam Migration

Depth imaging in complex settings:
Controlled Beam Migration(CBM) is an extension of beam migration technology specially targeted at imaging steeply dipping events and enhancing the signal to noise ratio of both land and marine datasets. CBM imaging results are especially suited to structural interpretation and velocity model building.

Structural imaging and interpretation, salt flank and base imaging, sub-salt imaging, steep dips and overthrust imaging, fractured basement imaging, velocity model building

Long Offset seismic carried out in East Coast India

Line illustrates the deepwater KG Basin with the 85 East Ridge separating the Mahanadi Basin to the east. Note the strike slip faulting that has recently developed on both flanks of the ridge.

Passive Seismic Tomography

Advantage: Uses naturally occurring earthquakes Deliver both Vp & Vs distribution estimate Low costs in inaccessible terrain. Useful in areas of strong attenuation due to high velocity Limitation: Suitable for seismically active areas only

Time frequency electromagnetic method

TFEM detects High resistivity & high induced polarization (IP) anomaly (oil & gas)

1.Inject a frequency optimized high T F E M power square-wave current into the ground by an electric dipole AB. 2.Record horizontal electric field (Ex) & vertical magnetic field (Hz).

New generation of wireline logging tools

Formation MicroScanner: For imaging thin beds, formation dips and stratigraphic dips Nuclear magnetic resonance logging tools: For identifying fluid type, volumes etc. Cased hole resistivity tools

RHOB-NPHI cross plot for litho-facies distribution analysis

Forthcoming frontiers
Coal bed methane Shale gas Gas hydrates Tight gas Heavy oil Underground coal gasification(UCG)

Coal Bed Methane


Underground coal gasification

18000 MW for 500 years!

Conclusion closing the loop

Knowledge of the basic datasets is equally important to collate new technology with the existing one.

Field geological techniques should be learnt by new explorationists for proper visualization of natural processes.
Oil shales, Basin Centered Gas, and Gas to liquid (GTL) are additional list of energy sources.

1.Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) presentations 2.Oil Infraline- Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in India, A reference book, 2005, 492 p 3.Energy Information Administration, International Energy Annual 2005-web page: http://www.eia.doe.gov/international 4.University of Petroleum & Energy Studies library books, E-Resources

Vijai Kumar Baskaran

B.Tech. (Petroleum Engineering), IV-year
University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, India

Mr. Vijai Kumar Baskaran (20 years old) is an Engineering student of University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, India. He is now in the fourth year of 5 years Integrated B.Tech programme. He is academically very competitive and encyclopaedic; diligent and curious, which provides him, the potential very much needed in a person aspiring for a future in oil and gas industry. Mr.Vijai is a Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) scholar under the Central sector scholar scheme under MHRD of India. This scholarship is valid till his post graduation. He also receives Scholarships from his University for his exemplary academic records. Mr.Vijai is a President award winner in Scouting for the year 2006. He has published two technical papers at the XV international scientific symposium on subsurface development held in Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), Russia from 4th to 9th April 2011. Also, he has on-field work experiences in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Cauvery asset, India and in RUS Imperial group ( a subsidiary of ONGC Videsh) in Mayaskoye oil field of West Siberia, Russia. His areas of interests include Directional drilling, Well Stimulation , Oil and Gas Exploration . e-mail: vijaik4@gmail.com, bvkvijai@yahoo.com Mobile: +91 9557050953 (IND)