Cairn seismic contract attracts six bidders

Vol 16, PW 14 (07 Feb 13) Exploration & Production

ONGC reluctance to approve operator Cairn India’s Rajasthan exploration programme is not stopping Cairn racing ahead with a tender to shoot 1500-sq km 3D.

Six companies are shortlisted: Norway-based Global Geo Services; Poland's Geofizyka Torun; Houston-headquartered Geokinetics; Kazakhstan CaspiyShelf (KCS); Kazakhstan-based Azimut Energy Services; and a consortium of Kazakhstan-based Geo Energy and Asian Oilfield. All six attended Cairn's pre-bid from 9am to 1:30pm on January 30.

Cairn originally wanted bids by January 29 but has postponed this to February 19. “All of us asked Cairn to extend the bid submission deadline by a month," says a source who attended.

"Cairn initially wanted to extend it by only two weeks but agreed to a three week extension." Cairn, he adds, is likely to award the Rs300cr ($54m) 3D contract by April this year so work can begin in July.

It wants to shoot 1500-sq km 3D in up to six contiguous areas. Cairn might also ask the selected contractor to shoot an additional 1000-sq km of 3D.

At the pre-bid, Cairn amended an important bid criterion and increased the age of Vibroseis equipment required from four to six years. Separately, Cairn is gearing up to drill 90 exploration wells over the next three years, targeting 100 high potential prospects with 530m barrels of in-place crude.

It is expected to invite EoIs by March to hire seven onland rigs: four 1000-hp rigs and three 1500-hp rigs. ONGC is hesitating to approve Cairn's exploration programme at RJ-ON-90/1 until it gets clarity from the oil ministry on who must bear costs.

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