Energy Driller gets urgent equipment upgrade

Vol 15, PW 19 (05 Apr 12) Exploration & Production

Safety concerns have led Northern Offshore’s semisubmersible Energy Driller to delay the start of her three-year ONGC contract.

Energy Driller reached Indian waters on February 27, an early arrival considering her mobilisation deadline was March 17. But PETROWATCH learns the rig is yet to spud her first well as she awaits mandatory Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) clearance.

“Northern Offshore asked to mobilise its rig at location until OISD clearance is processed,” said an ONGC source on April 3. “The rig is at location only at the request of the contractor but as far as we are concerned the contract has yet to start and will begin only when the rig spuds the well.

” Driller, he adds, landed three anchors at location and was landing the fourth on April 3. Apparently, Oilfield Audit Services (OAS) inspected the rig in March and realised the ‘motion compensator’ needed upgrading.

“Northern Offshore is arranging equipment for the upgrade,” we hear. “It should arrive in one or two days (from April 3).

” Driller is likely to spud her first well D-33 F in the next 10 days at ONGC’s ‘nomination’ block D1 offshore Mumbai in water depths of 83 metres. “We want to target the Mukta and Panna formations at 4300 metres depth,” we hear.

Separately, ONGC wrote to Noble Drilling on March 20 giving it an extension until May 15 to mobilise semi-submersible Noble Duchess. ONGC originally wanted Driller, Duchess and Transocean’s Actinia mobilised by March 17 but only Northern Offshore met the deadline.

Duchess is likely to reach India by end-April from the Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore. Actinia, also in Singapore, is likely to mobilise by July.

There’s a good chance ONGC might penalise Noble by charging 2% of its annual contract value while Transocean might pay up to 5%.