The total in-place reserves put at 20-30 trillion cubic feet

In a major boost to the energy security campaign, Australia's Oilex Ltd. on Monday claimed that it had made a huge natural gas discovery in the onshore Cambay basin near Khambat town in Gujarat that could possibly hold 1.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of reserves.

Industry sources put the total in-place reserves in the new discovery, which is 160-km south of Ahmedabad, at 20-30 tcf.

This is almost equal to the reserves of Reliance Industries' eastern offshore KG-D6 fields.

Oilex had drilled many wells on the Cambay Field and on Monday it announced a significant upgrade to its reserves and contingent resources based on evaluation by North American consultants NuTech Energy Alliance and Morning Star LLC.

In a statement, Oilex said the Cambay Field may hold 853 billion cubic feet (bcf) of reserves justified for development plus another 720 bcf of contingent resources, totalling the recoverable reserves at 1.5 tcf.

Oilex holds 45 per cent interest in the Cambay Field while Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation holds the balance 55 per cent.

The field was awarded to GSPC and Canada's Niko Resources in pre-New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) rounds in the 1990s and Oilex stepped-in upon exit of Niko.

“This reserve estimation follows a nine-month programme of extensive technical studies on the Cambay Field tight reservoirs using proprietary low permeability reservoir technologies derived from similar tight/shale gas projects in North America,'' the statement said. Besides gas, the field holds 31 million barrels of condensate.

“The estimates have not been endorsed by the Central Government or oil regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons,'' it further said.

The company said it would submit data next month for independent reserves certification in early 2011. “In its evaluation of the reserves and resources Oilex was advised by two North American companies — NuTech Energy Alliance, a leader in advanced petro physical, geological and fracture stimulation solutions for tight and shale gas reservoirs, and Morning Star LLC, a worldwide petroleum consulting group with expertise in reserve certification of ‘tight' reservoir projects,'' the statement said.

The company has renewed its focus on India and has made significant progress in unlocking the potential of the Cambay tight Eocene reservoirs.

Keywords: OilexCambay basinKG-D6