UK-based energy exploration company Cairn Energy has received a boost to its share price following a potentially significant oil discovery in Rajasthan with the N-C-1 exploration well. The find represents Cairn's third oil discovery at the site this year.

The N-C-1 well, which reached a total depth of 1,032 meters, encountered an oil column of 18 meters gross in the Fatehgarh formation, with an estimated 5.4 meters of net oil pay. The Fatehgarh formation has a gross section of 274 meters containing 165 meters of excellent high quality sands. On current mapping the well is at least 250 meters down-dip from the nearest potential structural crest which lies to the north of the present block boundary. An oil water contact has been established in the well.

An open hole test program has been carried out across one reservoir unit above the oil water contact. The well flowed at a variable rate for around six hours and produced oil with a specific gravity of approximately 15 degrees API. Oil flow rates were limited due to the high oil density and viscosity combined with the shallow depth of the reservoir.

This means that pumping will be required to conduct a test representative of the true formation productivity, which is believed to be high based on the excellent petrophysical characteristics observed from log and wireline formation test data.

This latest find is estimated to have oil in place of around 400m barrels. The company however, stated that further appraisal was necessary before confirmation could be made.

N-C-1 firmly establishes the widespread distribution of excellent reservoirs across the north eastern area, which bodes well both for the continued exploration program and the impending appraisal of existing discoveries, commented Cairn chief executive Bill Gammell.