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High quality natural gas discovered in Rajasthan

Gas was discovered in Focus Energy's exploration block, around 25 km from the Pakistan border.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 04:36 IST

India has made a discovery of large, high quality reserves of natural gas Shahgarh sub-basin of Jaisalmer district in Rajasthan, it was announced on Wednesday.

Gas was discovered in Focus Energy's exploration block, around 25 km from the Pakistan border, in the same stratigraphic area as the one producing multi-trillion cubic feet fields of Sawan and Miano.

Focus Energy, formerly known as Phoenix Overseas, struck gas in its onshore blocks RJ-ON/6 in well SGL-l, the company announced on Wednesday.

The company has informed the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) of its "significant gas discovery" and is still to get an expert certification of the size of the discovery.

Official sources, however, estimated that the gas find is large and around six trillion cubic feet.

"The discovery was made in excellent cretaceous reservoir sandstones at a depth of 3,100 meters. The well flowed 15 mmscf/d (million standard cubic feet per day) of almost pure methane gas through a 48/64 choke. The discovery of the gas has been confirmed through conventional open hole drill stem test," the company statement said.

"Focus Energy hopes that the discovery would be commercialised at the earliest," said Ajay Kalsi, chairman of Focus Energy, which is part of the Rs 250 million turnover Phoenix group that was engaged in trading and shoe trade till venturing into oil and gas exploration in 2001.

Having struck it lucky in the fifth well drilled, the company was now planning to step up exploration activities with expectations of further gas finds in Rajasthan where British exploration company Cairn Energy has found large reserves of oil.

In Jaipur, Rajasthan's Minister of Mines and Petroleum Laxmi Narayan Dave said it was the first time that such huge reserves of natural gas were found in the state.

"We are emboldened by the discovery of the huge and high quality gas reserves in Jaisalmer area," he said.

The minister also said that the flow rate of gas had been tested with 900 PSI (pressure square inch) for about an hour and there was no drop in the pressure.

He said that a few more tests were to be done to ascertain the exact amount of gas in the area.

Dave said the new gas reserves would augment power generation in the state and promote exploration and investment for the availability of Hydrocarbons in Jaisalmer basin and other areas.

In Rajasthan, over 2,900 million cubic meter gas reserves have been found by ONGC, and 9,200 million cubic metre reserves by Oil India so far.

First Published: May 25, 2006 04:36 IST