Seadrill threat to Transocean in ONGC rig tender

Vol 18, PW 10 (15 Jan 15) Exploration & Production

Transocean is up against rival Seadrill Offshore in an ONGC tender to drill two appraisal wells at its KG-DWN-98/2 block in the KG basin.

Transocean, Seadrill and Jasper Offshore submitted technical and price bids to ONGC on January 8 for five rigs. Transocean offered Deepwater Frontier, Deepwater Discovery, and Deepwater Expedition; Jasper Offshore offered Jasper Explorer while Seadrill offered West Navigator.

Many are surprised that Transocean’s rigs far exceed ONGC’s requirements. ONGC wants a rig that can drill in water depths of 400-700 metres to 3500 metres TD.

But Frontier and Discovery can drill in water depths of 10,000-feet (3000 metres) and Expedition can drill in water depths of 8500-feet (2590 metres). Some believe this indicates the entry of Seadrill, with a fleet of 63 rigs, into the Indian deepwater market has scared Transocean, the world’s largest rig operator.

“Transocean doesn’t like competition,” we hear. “Its business in India has gone down after it sold its jack-ups to Shelf (Drilling).

” In India, Transocean operates only three rigs: Actinia, GSF 140 and DD-KG2. “Transocean’s rigs are old,” says a driller.

“Seadrill has built new semis and deepwater drillships. It can offer anything or better than Transocean.

” But another contractor adds: “This time Transocean is offering high performing rigs. ONGC should be happy it is being offered good rigs.