Essar denies accident

Vol 15, PW 21 (03 May 12) News in Brief

Essar is fiercely denying that a serious rig accident took place at its 500-sq km RG (E)-CBM-2001/1 CBM block or Raniganj East in West Bengal.

But the facts speak otherwise. Rig operator Mitchell Drilling confirms to this report that on March 19 its RD-20 production rig on location at the site toppled while preparing to drill a CBM production well because its jack failed.

“Luckily there were no casualties,” confirms a Mitchell source. “But it was a horrible scene.

” Essar ordered Mitchell to immediately suspend all drilling, an order applied equally to its other Soilmec G55 rig. Mitchell immediately stopped equipment deliveries from its UK supplier.

Essar has the two Mitchell rigs on hire since November 2010 to drill 55 production wells in total. Work was previously suspended for nine months until March this year.

A Mitchell source tells us Essar plans to resume drilling by the middle of this month, on May 16. Jack failure of a rig, adds an expert, usually happens from poor maintenance or a ‘leak in its lock.