Bengal Basin’s Asokenagar-1 produces superior quality crude

The Asokenagar-1 well in Bengal Basin is yielding lighter and low-wax variant of crude oil, which attracts a premium in the market because of the lower refining load of the crude. Bengal Basin was recently dedicated to the nation by the Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as India’s 8th producing basin. ONGC had discovered this basin after over six decades of exploration.

The API gravity of the oil recovered from Asokenagar-1 well in 24 Paragana district of West Bengal is around 40 to 41, which is quite light vis-a-vis other crude benchmarks. Bengal Basin’s CGM (Geology) DK Roy told ONGCReports about this superior quality crude. “The oil recovered from Asokenagar-1 well is of very light quality with API gravity of 40 to 41 and has wax content of around 3.17 per cent and asphaltene content of 0.04 per cent,” Mr Roy said.

API gravity is a commonly used index for the density of crude oil or refined products. Higher API gravity indicates a lighter and lower density crude. Light crude typically falls under the 35-45 API gravity range, which includes most of the highest valued crudes such as Brent and WTI. Notably, most popularly traded Brent crude has an API gravity of around 39.8 per cent.

ONGCReports has also learnt that the NSO (Nitrogen, Sulfur and Oxygen) compounds in the crude from the well are also quite low vis-à-vis other benchmarks.

Petroleum Minister, while dedicating the Asokenagar-1 well on 20 December 2020, had noted this discovery would play a role for India’s energy security and expressed confidence that it will help the country’s commitment to reduce oil import dependence.

ONGC has geared up to drill the next well near the Asokenagar-1 site by end January 2021. This will be a horizontal well to explore a deeper layer of around 3,700 meters; the centre of the new well will be 300 meters surface distance away from the currently-producing well.