Deepwater Drilling branches out from jack-ups

Vol 18, PW 6 (06 Nov 14) Exploration & Production

Deepwater Drilling is best known for offering only jack-ups to ONGC.

But PETROWATCH learns the company is gearing up to bid in ONGC tenders for rigs that can drill in much deeper waters. Deepwater, set up by Naresh Kumar after his split from family firm Jindal Drilling in September 2010, has signed a JV with a mystery foreign driller to offer ONGC deepwater rigs that can drill in water depths of up to 2000 metres.

When contacted, a Deepwater source declined to name its mystery partner. Deepwater also plans to buy two rigs - one new and one used - in 2015 and another two jack-ups in 2016 to add to three company-owned jack-ups: Dynamic Vision, Victory Driller and Valiant Driller.

Next December (2015) Deepwater will take delivery of new Marathon LeTourneau 116E design jack-up Dynamic Momentum built at the COSCO shipyard at Dalian in China for $180m. As for the used jack-up it plans to buy in 2015, Deepwater says it has shortlisted three or four rigs and is talking to owners.

“Deepwater has options with COSCO to buy two more jack-ups - at least one in 2016,” we hear. Deepwater was set up by father and son duo Naresh and Manav Kumar in 2010 with just two employees in Delhi and three in Mumbai.

Today it employs 50 staff in Mumbai, 17 in Delhi and over 500 rig crew: around half of which are direct employees.