Cairn struggling to hire rig for Ravva wells

Vol 16, PW 17 (21 Mar 13) Exploration & Production

Cairn India urgently needs a jack-up to drill up to two wells at the Ravva oil and gasfield.

Bids must be in by March 25 in a tender to hire a rig with a 15,000-psi Blow Out Preventer to drill high pressure/high temperature (hp/ht) wells. One 'firm' and one 'optional' well are planned to 4000 metres TD in water depths of around 20 metres at the elongated 21-sq km Late Oligocene-110 (LO-110) prospect.

Cairn wants the rig mobilised by the end of this year (2013) at the latest. First issued last June, the tender received no response.

Some fear this tender awaits the same fate. “Rig rates for a single well will be at least $155,000/day plus mobilisation and demobilisation charges,” says a driller.

“No foreign driller will bid for just one or two wells.” He adds that to drill a hp/ht well a driller will need to change every ‘elastomer’ (specialised rubber) lining on the rig, which takes time and money.

Greatship and Aban Offshore have rigs suitable for the Cairn assignment but neither is likely to bid. Aban’s Deep Driller-1 is on hire to Cairn at CB-OS/2 but after finishing her well this month (March) is off to Sharjah for repairs ahead of an assignment in the Gulf of Mexico.

Greatship’s Greatdrill Chetna finishes her PMT assignment in October and could move to Ravva, but has been offered in a separate 10-rig tender at ONGC, where price bids are yet to be opened. “It makes commercial sense for Greatship to wait for ONGC,” says a source.

“Chetna could get a three-year contract with ONGC.”

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