Dibrugarh, Nov 2: Oil India Ltd has started drilling operations in Gabon, South Africa for hydrocarbon exploration.
The beginning of drilling on the first well in Gabon by India's flagship explorer was done on Sunday in the presence of senior officials of OIL and Punj Lloyd Upstream Ltd which has the contract for rig service, OIL said in a release.
The onshore block in Shakthi was obtained from the Gabon government for hydrocarbon exploration in April 2006 forming a joint venture with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (45 per cent) and Marvis (10 per cent) with Singapore Oil (45 per cent) as the operator.
As a part of exploration activities aeromagnetic and seismic surveys (2D and 3D) were carried out and two locations were released for drilling in Shakthi Block in December 2011 by Gabon on the west coast of Central Africa, the release said.
Both the wells are vertical wells inside deep forest with depth 3460 m and 3200 m, respectively, with the first well considered to be one of the deepest onshore well.
Despite a logistically difficult area, lacking infrastructure, with heavy rainfall, a different language (French) and very tight timeline, Oil India Ltd had achieved the planned activities very efficiently, the release added.