Cairn keeps helicopter contractors guessing

Vol 19, PW 14 (24 Mar 16) Exploration & Production

Cairn will begin carrying out technical audits this month (March) on helicopters likely to be offered in its soon-to-be issued tender to hire two crew change helicopters for the CB-OS/2 and Ravva fields.

"After it completes the technical audits companies will be shortlisted to send in bids," says a helicopter operator. Cairn emailed companies on February 19 telling them the technical audits would be carried out in March.

"We were earlier expecting these to happen in February," says a likely bidder. Cairn invited EoIs last October and received responses from Global Vectra, United Helicharters, Deccan Aviation, Heligo Charters and Pawan Hans.

It wants to renew or replace its previous contract for CB-OS/2 with Deccan Aviation, which ran out on December 31. It is offering the fresh contract for 60 months.

Cairn also wants to renew or replace its contract for Ravva with Global Vectra, which runs out in June. It is offering the fresh Ravva contract for 40 months.

Each helicopter must be equipped to carry nine passengers, have a 'rescue hoist' for offshore rescue operations, and be less than 15 years old when the contract runs out. But some wonder why Cairn needs a helicopter for CB-OS/2.

"Cairn uses that helicopter for a maximum 20 hours a month," says a source. "Ravva helicopter usage is also down from 50 or 60 hours a month to about 40."