Another rig row between ONGC and Cairn

Vol 16, PW 22 (30 May 13) Exploration & Production
     

Cairn India and ONGC are on another collision course at Rajasthan block RJ-ON-90/1 - this time over a decision to hire four rigs: three from Quippo and one from Weatherford.

ONGC, we hear, alleges Cairn hired the rigs without consulting the Operating Committee (OC) as required by the PSC, or so it says. Contacted by this report for a comment, operator Cairn did not respond to an e-mail request or telephone calls.

In contention is Weatherford mobile electric Rig 709, hired on April 15 for two years on a $3.4m contract to drill 42 development wells at Bhagyam followed by another 28 development wells. Cairn secured OC approval for the budget to drill the first set of wells, but has yet to secure approval for the second set.

Cairn also hired a 1000-hp mobile electrical rig from Quippo to drill 12 firm exploration wells between the second and fourth quarters of 2013; a 1500-hp electrical Quippo rig to drill 12 firm exploration wells between the fourth quarter of 2013 and third quarter of 2015; and a 2000-hp to 2500-hp electrical Quippo rig to drill five firm exploration wells between the fourth quarter of 2013 and the fourth quarter of 2014. ONGC is also angry at Cairn for unilaterally issuing a tender to hire three more rigs to drill a total 158 firm exploration wells and 52 optional wells.

“The exploration budget for these wells has yet to be submitted to the Management Committee (MC),” said an ONGC source last week. “This budget is likely to be placed before the MC on May 30.

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