Halliburton to begin first drilling contract in India

Vol 17, PW 22 (19 Jun 14) Exploration & Production

Halliburton is set to deploy two 600-hp rigs for Cairn India under an estimated $230m 'integrated contract' to drill 90 ‘firm’ and six ‘optional’ wells in 18 months at Rajasthan onland block RJ-ON-90/1.

Halliburton's two "fast-moving" rigs arrived at Mundra port last week. "The plan is to move the rigs to Cairn's site as soon as possible so drilling can begin in August," reports a source.

But contractors hired by Halliburton for support services to the drilling campaign tell us the rigs may begin drilling only in September. "A lot of clearances are required before rigs can be mobilised," we hear.

"These things take a lot of time." Halliburton will carry out mud-logging, mud-engineering, cementing, logging, perforation and will provide casing, ‘Christmas’ trees, production tubing and well completion material like packers.

Cairn India expects each Halliburton rig to drill and complete three wells every month. "Cairn's track record at Rajasthan is to go from spud to well completion in seven days," says another contractor.

Cairn will spend $2.5m on each well and Halliburton has agreed to pay Cairn a penalty if 90 ‘firm’ wells aren't drilled in 18 months. A senior industry source adds the rig hire deal was sealed at the highest level by respective head offices.

"This deal was done at Anil Agarwal’s level,” he says. Agarwal heads Vedanta Resources, the majority shareholder in Cairn India.

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