ONGC issues massive tender for 10 jack-ups

Vol 16, PW 8 (01 Nov 12) Exploration & Production

ONGC has released its largest jack-up tender in living memory, stitched together from the carcasses of several older tenders.

On October 30, it invited bids for 10 jack-ups. Tender documents are on sale until November 13 and the bid deadline for the three-year contracts is November 23.

Drillers filled with suspense over the fate of an earlier tender for four jack-ups will be relieved to hear it has been merged into this gargantuan new tender. “There will be many bidders,” says a happy driller.

“It’s been a long time since ONGC issued such a large tender.” ONGC’s most recent large-sized jack-up tender was issued in 2010 for seven jack-ups, also for three-year contracts.

All the usual suspects are expected to bid: Transocean, Rowan Drilling, Diamond Offshore, Great Offshore, Jindal Drilling, UK-based Foresight, Jagson Drilling and others. ONGC needs seven rigs of either Marathon LeTourneau or Baker Marine design.

It also needs one Levingston design rig; one slot/cantilever rig which can drill high pressure/high temperature wells; and one slot rig. ONGC needs to replace or revive contracts for Transocean rigs Trident XII and Ron Tappmeyer and Jindal-managed but Noble Drilling-owned rig Noble Charlie Yester.

Transocean might also offer Randolph Yost, ‘cold stacked’ at Pipavav in Gujarat. Greatship will most likely offer Greatdrill Chetna, working offshore Mumbai for the PMT consortium but available from October 2013.

ONGC wants the 10 rigs mobilised within 180 days of its LoI but drillers say mobilisation can happen only after October 2013, when the monsoon ends. ONGC can expect rates of up to $100,000/day.