ONGC in talks to re-hire Aban Ice

Vol 16, PW 16 (07 Mar 13) News in Brief

ONGC is in talks with Chennai-based Aban Offshore to revive its contract for Aban Ice to drill in water depths of 600-feet for another three years.

Aban was the only company left in the race after ONGC rejected Ensco’s offer for Ensco 5004 on technical and commercial grounds. Ensco 5004 is currently drilling offshore Brazil for private Brazilian explorer OGX.

When ONGC opened Aban's price bid in Mumbai on February 14 it discovered the driller had quoted an Operating Day Rate (ODR) of $171,000 excluding 12.36% service tax. ONGC is negotiating with Aban to further reduce its day rate as it was paying only $152,000/day for Aban Ice on her previous three-year contract which ended last September.

ONGC re-hired the rig without a tender to drill one more well in the western offshore, which it expects to complete next month (April). Aban Ice can drill in water depths of up to 2000-feet.

Still unclear is when ONGC will issue the LoI to Aban for the new contract.