Greka in line to win Essar job at Raniganj

Vol 17, PW 7 (31 Oct 13) Exploration & Production

China-based Greka Drilling has found the opening in the Indian market it is looking for in the form of a 350-well CBM drilling project for Essar Energy in West Bengal.

Greka is among several companies competing for work at the 500-sq km Raniganj East CBM block or RG (E)-CBM-2001/1. Essar is planning to add 350 wells to the current 150 wells at Raniganj East by end-2014.

“Greka is not the only contractor we are talking to," says a senior Essar source. "I can't put all my eggs in one basket.

But talks are at an advanced stage and we would like to sign a deal with them by the end of this year." Essar plans to deploy up to 15 rigs at the block, of which five are likely to come from Greka.

Essar will also hire rigs from sister company Essar Oilfield Services (EOS) and other drillers. Essar recently bought three new 760-hp rigs made by US-based Schramm for around $6m each including mud pumps.

One rig was delivered in April, one in June and one in September. All three are deployed at Raniganj and Essar has ordered three more rigs from Schramm but is yet to confirm when it wants them delivered.

Essar aims to raise gas production at Raniganj East from 100,000 cm/d to 3m cm/d and is rushing to begin drilling by the first quarter of next year. "Drillers usually take six months from the date of award to mobilise rigs," we hear.

"But it will be better if rigs can be mobilised in three to four months."