Surprise as ONGC hires 9 rigs without tender

Vol 18, PW 17 (23 Apr 15) Exploration & Production

ONGC has shocked India's drilling community by hiring nine rigs without tender.

This unprecedented decision happened during an Executive Purchase Committee meeting on April 7. Shelf Drilling, Deepwater Drilling, Jindal Drilling and Jagson Drilling are the main beneficiaries.

Of course they aren’t complaining but the wider question is will the government launch an investigation? “We have yet to receive the LoAs,” cautions one of the lucky companies. “I'm assuming ONGC will invite us for negotiations.

” Seven of the nine rigs will go to the west coast and two to the east coast. Four rigs are already drilling for ONGC and will be re-hired without mandatory third party inspections.

From Shelf ONGC is re-hiring three: Trident-II, FG McClintock and CE Thornton. From Deepwater Drilling it is re-hiring one: Paragon MDS1 (previously Noble Duchess) for 122 days to drill an eastern offshore well.

Trident-II and McClintock will be re-hired for 215 days to drill two wells each and Thornton for 230 days, also for two western offshore wells. From Deepwater Drilling ONGC will hire jack-up Noble Gus Androes for 138 days to drill a single western offshore well.

From Jagson Drilling ONGC will hire jack-up Deepsea Treasure for 138 days to drill one western offshore well. This despite Treasure being disqualified from ONGC tenders as she has been idle since April 2010.

Also hired from Jagson is Deepsea Matdrill for 168 days for one eastern offshore well.