Perro Negro 3 favourite for Panna well campaign

Vol 15, PW 24 (14 Jun 12) Exploration & Production

Saipem is the number one choice for joint operators BG, ONGC and Reliance to drill five wells from the PL platform at the Panna field offshore Mumbai.

Panna, Mukta and Tapti (PMT) field operators contacted Milan-headquartered Saipem and UK-based Ensco in mid-May asking if any of their jack-ups would be available. Saipem offered Friede & Goldman L780 design rig Perro Negro 3 and Ensco offered Ensco 54 of the same design.

“Because of its soft soil PL is a potential ‘punch-through’ location so we need a specific type of rig here,” explains a source. PMT partners, he adds, believe Perro Negro 3 is more suitable for the job as it can be mobilised to location by October this year after her PY-1 contract offshore Chennai for Eni-subsidiary HOEC.

By contrast Ensco 54 is offshore UAE and only available from March 2013. Another factor in her favour is that Perro Negro 3 will not have mobilisation costs, as she is already offshore India.

But there’s a minor hitch: Saipem’s marine warranty surveyor wants to play safe and has expressed reservations about the soil conditions at PL, unlike Ensco. “But Ensco is being difficult and asking for impossible terms,” we hear.

For instance, Ensco wants to be paid the full day rate right from when its rig, if hired, sets out from the UAE for Indian waters. Ensco further demands the PMT consortium pay for any repairs to the jack-up legs if damaged by a ‘punch-through’ at PL.

Ensco also wants the PMT consortium to foot the bill for insurance covering third party services like offshore supply vessels. A formal tender has yet to be issued but PMT can expect quotes of around $100,000/day.