Cairn wants to hire another 30 rigs from 2017

Vol 17, PW 12 (30 Jan 14) People & Policy

Cairn India has ambitious plans to drill more than 2100 wells in Rajasthan but Indian drillers can stay back because Cairn wants to hire only foreign companies.

Cairn made a presentation in December to oil secretary Vivek Rae about drilling a further 1700 development wells from 2017 to 2021 on top of the 450 wells it plans to drill over the next three years. Cairn doubts Indian companies can supply enough ‘high spec’ rigs as most are too old and take too long to mobilise between sites.

“We might need around 30 more rigs by 2017," says Cairn. "These are rigs which can drill up to 2300 metres TD.

" Cairn will begin by hiring 12 onshore rigs of between 750-hp and 2000-hp capacity. "We'll invite bids through a limited tender from interested contractors in April," we hear.

"Other tenders will follow in a few months." Cairn expects to award contracts by October 2014 so rigs can be deployed between October and December 2015 and is ideally looking for Super Single Light models, which cost around $37,000/day, more expensive than normal rigs at around $25,000/day.

“There's less mobilisation time between wells," explains Cairn. "This means we can potentially drill an extra three to six development wells a year compared to rigs that aren't trailer-mounted.

” Cairn believes hiring high mobility rigs will reduce the cost of drilling each well from $700,000 to $395,000.