Another two rigs for Cairn drilling in Rajasthan

Vol 16, PW 10 (29 Nov 12) Exploration & Production

Cairn India is set to deploy two more drilling rigs for its development programme at the Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya fields at Rajasthan block RJ-ON-90/1.

Cairn currently has two rigs at the block: one drilling rig and one workover. It issued LoIs on November 15 hiring two more: one from Ahmedabad-based John Energy; the other from Oman-based Arabian Drilling, each for 10 months.

John will provide a 1000-hp electric rig, under-construction in China, which will be mobilised in six months at Aishwariya. Arabian will provide a 750-hp hydraulic ‘super single’ category rig, built in 2008 in the US.

Arabian’s rig is undergoing routine re-certification in the US and likely to be mobilised within the next two and a half months at Bhagyam, where she will drill shallow wells. A source explains that hydraulically-operated rigs have masts and draw-works that can be telescopically retracted and extended, enabling quicker movement between drilling locations, unlike mechanically-operated rigs which must be dismantled and re-assembled for each move.

Cairn will pay an Effective Day Rate of around $19,000 for each rig and plans to spend $221m to drill 36 oil producers and 15 water injectors over 18 months at Aishwariya to pump out 3000 b/d from June 2013, rising to 10,000 b/d by 2014 and 20,000 b/d by 2017. But if Cairn’s development drilling programme is to last 18 months why hire the new rigs for 10 months Cairn received DGH approval only for a 10-month drilling programme.

“Cairn is talking to the DGH,” we hear, “and might extend the contracts if it gets approval for its full drilling programme.”