Floater extension

Vol 15, PW 1 (14 Jul 11) News in Brief

ONGC has postponed from July 5 to July 25 the bid submission deadline in a tender to hire one ‘floater’ to drill five wells in water depths of 600 metres.

Some say ONGC granted this extension to accommodate requests by US-based drillers who had a long weekend holiday over the July 4 Independence Day celebrations in the US. But one source claims ONGC granted the extension to favour Indian drilling contractor Shiv Vani, a charge hotly denied by Shiv Vani.

“We don’t control ONGC!” says a Shiv Vani source. “I have seen extension request letters from Transocean and Naresh Kumar’s Deepwater Drilling also.

” Transocean and Shiv Vani are believed to be the top contenders for this contract, which isn’t exactly a fair fight. Transocean owns the world’s largest rig fleet, while Shiv Vani is known more as an onland driller and seismic contractor.

“There are only a few rigs in the market suitable for ONGC,” adds a driller. “ONGC should be ready to pay rates of $300,000/day or more.