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Leveraging Mangala Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) to maximise domestic production

21st October 2016

Leveraging the latest technologies has been the prime mover behind Cairn India’s contribution to domestic oil production.

Cairn India launched the first polymer injection at Mangala in 2014.
Cairn India launched the first polymer injection at Mangala in 2014.

The company operates ~27 per cent of India's domestic crude oil production and has yet again proven its technological capabilities as Mangala Oil Field in Rajasthan crosses the mark of 300 MMBBLS of cumulative production.

Mangala along with the Bhagyam, Aishwariya and Raageshwari oil and gas fields make up the Rajasthan block, where Cairn India’s ambitious Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) program, the world’s largest Polymer EOR project, is being implemented to help arrest natural decline and maintain production. Cairn India’s tryst with the best of technologies and the lowest capex in the world has defined the company’s character of business since the very beginning. This has had an immense bearing on the company’s profitability and financial resilience.

In alignment with the Prime Minister’s vision, Cairn India’s operations have also helped reduce India’s import bill by over INR 21,000 crore as well as contribute over INR 10,000 crore to the government exchequer, credit to its robust production backed by technological innovation.

Being a pioneer in technology application in the Indian oil and gas space, Cairn India’s focus on technology has yielded exemplary results in extending the life of Rajasthan’s mature oil assets.

Cairn India launched the first polymer injection at Mangala in 2014. By end of FY15, the company had ramped up its polymer injection rate and completed the Mangala Alkaline Surfactant Polymer (ASP) pilot successfully. Through the use of alkali and surfactant chemicals, injected water acts almost as soap, helping to wash more oil off the reservoir rock surface, resulting in increased displacement efficiency.

The Mangala EOR contributed an average of 42,000 barrels of additional oil per day (bopd) during the last quarter; up by 31 per cent (QoQ), according to its Q1 FY17 result. Excellent performance by Mangala EOR and encouraging upside from Aishwariya infill program have continued to assert the potential of Cairn India’s Rajasthan block.

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) is a term for special techniques to increase the amount of crude oil that can be extracted from a field, over and above conventional primary depletion or basic waterflooding which typically will recover 20- 40 per cent of the stock tank oil initially in place (STOIIP). Using typical EOR methods, an additional 10- 20 per cent of STOIIP can be extracted from a field.

EOR through polymer flooding is used for improving oil recovery - particularly in older and declining oil wells and reservoirs. The addition of polymers to water allows a better displacement of oil and improves the recovery factor.

The importance of EOR for the Mangala field (and subsequently for Bhagyam and Aishwariya) was realized soon after its discovery in 2004. The field is expected to produce around 35 per cent of STOIIP over 30 years of conventional water flood operations. Successful completion of ASP pilot would open ways to further improve the recovery.

The MBA field with 2.2 billion barrels of hydrocarbons in place, are the key pillars of the company’s strong fundamentals in the region.

Cairn India has a portfolio of eight blocks – one block in Rajasthan, two on the west coast, four on the east coast of India, and one in South Africa. Oil and gas is currently being produced from Barmer, Ravva and Cambay. The Mangala field discovered in January 2004, is the largest onshore oil discovery in India in more than two decades.

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