Rajasthan Block RJ-ON-90/1 - Operational Update

13 October, 2003

Q Gas Condensate Discovery

Cairn announces that the RJ-Q-1 exploration well has reached a total depth of 3,544 metres using a deep drilling rig. The well is located on the Central Basin High approximately 20 kilometres north of Raageshwari and 11 kilometres west of Saraswati. The well encountered hydrocarbons in both the shallow (Thumbli) and deep (Barmer Hill/ Fatehgarh) sections.

A short drill stem test conducted on an interval from 3,112 to 3,174 metres in the Fatehgarh section flowed gas and condensate to surface prior to mechanical failure. The condensate tested was 52 degrees API gravity. The RJ-Q-1 well is being suspended for additional testing of this deep section using a service rig.

The shallow Thumbli section, which encountered a log-evaluated gross hydrocarbon interval of 250 metres in RJ-Q-1, will now be tested in a second dedicated well.

The deep drilling rig is now moving to drill an exploration well on the GR-F prospect which is also located on the Central Basin High approximately 40 kilometres south of RJ-Q-1.

Saraswati - Second Successful Extended Well Test

The Saraswati discovery well and two subsequent appraisal wells identified two separate reservoirs, the Barmer Hill and Fatehgarh. Cairn commenced extended well testing on the Saraswati-1 discovery well in August. The Fatehgarh was the first interval to be tested and was flowed for 13 days at an average rate of 470 bopd with no water. Subsequent testing of the Barmer Hill interval for 14 days during September achieved an average rate of 1,000 bopd with no water.

Raageshwari Extended Well Test

An extended well test has recently commenced on the shallow Thumbli section in the Raageshwari discovery well. It is currently anticipated that this test programme will be completed during November.

Medium Depth Drilling Programme

The first of the two medium depth drilling rigs contracted to accelerate the multi-well drilling programme underway on the block is now on location. This rig will drill the GR-A exploration prospect at the southern end of the Central Basin High approximately 30 kilometres south of the Guda discovery. This well is currently expected to be followed by an appraisal well on Raageshwari.

The second rig is due to arrive in November/December following which it is expected to commence drilling on the N-A exploration prospect in the north of the block, approximately 50 kilometres from the RJ-Q-1 discovery. This well is currently expected to be followed by an exploration well on prospect N-B, located 10 kilometres to the north of N-A.

Bill Gammell, Chief Executive, commented:

“I am delighted with our fourth exploration discovery in Rajasthan which further confirms the extensive distribution of hydrocarbons across the basin. Over the coming months we will be commencing exploration wells more than 120 kilometres apart and we are confident of the potential for Rajasthan to become a new core producing area for Cairn.”

Enquiries to:

Cairn Energy PLC

Bill Gammell, Chief Executive Tel: 0131 475 3000
Mike Watts, Exploration Director Tel: 0131 475 3000
Kevin Hart, Finance Director Tel: 0131 475 3000

Brunswick Group Limited:

Patrick Handley, Catherine Bertwistle, Mark Antelme Tel: 0207 404 5959

Notes to Editors:


  1. “Cairn” where referred to in this release means Cairn Energy PLC and/or its subsidiaries, as appropriate.
  2. Cairn holds a 100% interest in Block RJ-ON-90/1. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (“ONGC”) has a right to 30% of any development area resulting from a commercial discovery on the block.
  3. “Central Basin High” where referred to in this release means the structural high located along the axis of the Rajasthan Basin on which the Guda, Raageshwari and RJ-Q-1 discoveries are located.
  4. “mmscfd” where referred to in this release means million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
  5. “bopd” where referred to in this release means barrels of oil or condensate per day.
  6. “API” where referred to in this release means American Petroleum Institute units as a measure of oil specific gravity.
    “mmbbls” where referred to in this release means million barrels of oil or condensate.