Oil India needs drillship for Cauvery drilling

Vol 17, PW 3 (05 Sep 13) Exploration & Production

Oil India (50%) is having a hard time hiring a deepwater drillship to drill three exploration wells at offshore Cauvery basin block CY-OSN-2009/2 in the waters between India and Sri Lanka, which it shares with ONGC (50%).

Oil India is expected to invite EoIs for a rig later this month (September). A senior Oil India source tells us a formal tender should be issued to pre-qualified bidders by November.

“Internally we are targeting to award the LoA by January or February 2014," he says. But drillers say it will not be easy to get a deepwater rig for only three wells.

"Drillers look for long term contracts,” says a source. “Weather conditions are unpredictable in the Gulf of Mannar.

I think Oil India can begin drilling only in August or September next year (2014).” Oil India is encouraged about prospects at CY-OSN-2009/2 following an announcement last month (August) that Reliance and BP made a gas discovery at nearby deepwater block CY-DWN-2001/2.

"Our block is only 200 miles from the Reliance block,” adds Oil India. “It lies on the same fault line and we may have similar luck.

" Oil India's G&G department should finalise locations for the three Phase-I exploration wells soon. "Our block is in water depths of 400 metres to 1000 metres,” adds Oil India.

“We need a drillship to drill the wells to around 5500 metres TD.” Three optional wells might be drilled in addition to the three firm wells.

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