Cairn India Ltd has awarded a two-year contract for a 3-dimensional seismic survey of its prolific Rajasthan oil block to Russian firm IG Seismic Services for an undisclosed sum.

“The works may cover over 1,500 square kilometres (over 200,000 shot points). The start of works is planned for the beginning of October 2013,” IG Seismic Services said in a statement.

The Russian firm said it has signed a two-year contract for surveying the Barmer basin block.

“The agreement envisages conducting seismic exploration works using 3-D technology,” it said.

Cairn, which earlier this year got government approval to restart exploration in the block, will use the 3-D seismic survey to locate newer oil and gas reserves and drill wells.

IG Seismic Services senior vice president for sales and marketing Rustam Rakhmatulin said, “Large international companies from Poland, USA, India and Kazakhstan competed to win this tender. We are honoured to be entrusted to do the job, since the project of such complexity can be carried out only by a large, reliable and technologically advanced company.”

Cairn, which holds 70 per cent in the Rajasthan block, had previously announced an investment of $ 2.4 billion in the block by 2015-16. It currently produces about 170,000 barrels of oil a day from the block.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) holds the remaining 30 per cent interest in the block.