CGG likely to win offshore 3D shoot for Cairn

Vol 17, PW 9 (28 Nov 13) Exploration & Production

CGGVeritas could be on a winning streak as most people predict it will beat rivals in a tender for Cairn India (100% and operator) to shoot 1028-sq km 3D at NELP-VIII shallow water block KG-OSN-2009/3.

By the November 11 deadline Cairn received bids from four companies: WesternGeco, CGGVeritas, Nordic Maritime and Polarcus for the estimated 50-day $20m survey. Cairn wants 3D in challenging water depths of around 15 metres and industry sources say only CGGVeritas has enough vessels available at any given time to clinch the contract.

“When the streamers are turned around while shooting 3D there is a risk they get entangled in fishing nets or hit the seabed,” says a source. “This is why contractors like PGS have not bid; they don’t have vessels to shoot shallow water seismic.

” Cairn expects to award the contract in mid-December, giving contractors 45 days to mobilise before shooting begins in mid-February. Cairn adds the company received oil ministry approval last month (October) to reduce the Minimum Work Programme at this block faced with defence ministry directives that place 35% of the area off limits.

"Luckily the defence ministry's ‘no-go’ area is less prospective," says Cairn. “We are glad this block is nearly out of ‘force majeure’.

” Because of the defence ministry's restrictions the block size is reduced from 1988-sq km to 1293-sq km.