An ONGC Ltd.-led consortium is chasing hydrocarbon leads in the shallow waters of the MB-OSN-2005/1 Block, located in the Mumbai Offshore Basin near Saurashtra, after two exploration wells hit oil and gas.

A plan calls for drilling four more wells in north and northeastern part of the concession to assess the quantity of extractable oil and gas reserves.

“The future impetus of exploration in [the] MB-OSN-2005/1 Block is toward the north and northeast of [the] MBS051NAA structure,” ONGC said in a proposal. The “identified four prospects, which are to be evaluated in this project, will be upside to [the] MBS051NBA-1 and MBS051NAA-1 development schemes.”

The second phase exploration project is estimated to cost about $40 million.

The operator identified the drilling locations based on detailed interpretation of 3-D seismic data. The wells will be drilled to a target depth of between 2,600 m (8,530.1 ft) and 3,000 m (9,842.5 ft) in a water depth ranging from 17 m (55.77 ft) to 37 m (121.39 ft).

ONGC will target hydrocarbon prospects in the Daman Formation of upper Oligocene age.

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