Aban Abraham suffers 2 accidents at Vashishta

Vol 20, PW 6 (01 Dec 16) Exploration & Production

Aban Offshore drillship Aban Abraham has suffered two back-to-back mishaps at ONGC's eastern offshore deepwater Vashishta field.

Abraham was drilling development well VA-DB when on November 23 the 20-inch casing along with the casing hanger fell to the seabed for the second time in 10 days. "A 'fishing' operation is needed to retrieve the casing," reports a source.

After the first incident the casing was retrieved using a Remotely Operated Vehicle. Some fear the accident happened because of old casings and weakened joints.

"Whatever the reason ONGC's drilling plans are delayed," we hear. "But luckily the Blow Out Preventor wasn't damaged." Abraham spud VA-DB on October 25 at 11am local time in water depths of 690 metres.

ONGC hired the rig on June 24 for two years at $105,582/day under a $87m contract. Another Aban rig Aban Ice is having an easier time and is poised to begin production testing ONGC shallow water exploration well B-121#A in water depths of 80 metres on the outer flank of the B-121 gasfield.

Here drilling was terminated on November 23 when the drillbit reached 2115 metres - more than 200 metres short of the original 2320 metres TD. "ONGC reached its geological objective," adds a source.

"Now it is casing the 8.5-inch hole with a 7-inch production liner." Next a 3.5-inch production testing casing will be inserted into the wellbore. Testing is expected to take a month.