Greatship drills where other companies fear to go

Vol 18, PW 2 (11 Sep 14) Exploration & Production

Unlike others Greatship isn’t worried about the risks of operating a rig in soft seabed soil at the Panna and Mukta fields off Mumbai.

Left with no choice joint operators BG, Reliance and ONGC signed a contract to hire Greatship jack-up Greatdrill Chitra on August 27 at an ODR of $135,000/day. Other drillers Ensco, Aban Offshore, Deepwater Drilling and Shelf had offered rigs by the May 7 deadline, but did not then provide the necessary clearances from marine warranty surveyors to work at the offshore fields.

“These locations are very difficult to work in,” says one driller. “Soft soil makes the risk of a ‘punch through’ high.

Our marine warranty surveyor said no.” Another driller who also offered a rig says it makes no sense to change a marine warranty surveyor just for one contract.

“A jack-up is inherently fragile in such an environment,” he says. “It isn’t worth the risk.

Greatship management decided to take the risk.” In response a Greatship manager tells us the firm is confident about the project and “has experience working in these areas.

” Chitra will drill six firm development wells, two optional development wells, seven ‘firm’ workovers and 10 ‘optional’ workovers in water depths of 40 to 60 metres. Still unclear is how many wells and workovers will be at Panna and how many at Mukta.