Cairn seismic tender is vague and confusing

Vol 17, PW 2 (22 Aug 13) Exploration & Production

Hardly anyone is expected to respond to Cairn India's notice for EoIs to shoot and process 1000-sq km of full-fold 3D at shallow water block KG-OSN-2009/3, where it is operator with 100%.

By August 22 Cairn wants EoIs from companies that can shoot 3D at the 1988-sq km NELP-VIII block in Q4 this year (2013) or Q1 next year (2014). Some contractors complain Cairn's notice is vague, saying only the block sits in water depths of 13 to 400 metres.

Cairn fails to specify in what depths it wants the 3D shot, they stress. "If Cairn wants to shoot 3D in 13 metres water then PGS or WesternGeco don't have vessels for such shallow depths," he says.

"But if Cairn wants 3D in water depths over 25 metres then PGS and WesternGeco have vessels.” Another contractor says Cairn's demand for the vessel to have four streamers each of 8-km length shows it wants to shoot shallow water 3D.

Only smaller contractors like Dolphin Geophysical and Seabird Exploration might send in EoIs. "Seabird operates Voyager Explorer, which can shoot 3D in shallower depths," we hear.

Voyager was last spotted in the Indian Ocean on May 6, 2013 on its way to Labuan in East Malaysia. Also likely to restrict competition is Cairn's requirement the vessel should be under 15 years old.

"Finding a vessel with four streamers of 8-km length under 15 years old won't be easy," we learn.