RIGS: Jagson favourite for ONGC one-well job

Vol 18, PW 13 (26 Feb 15) Exploration & Production

ONGC is preparing a one-well tender solely to hire Jagson Drilling’s stranded jack-up Deepsea Treasure, allege rival drillers.

Not so, argues ONGC, which says it needs to drill one well immediately at one of the offshore Mumbai Bassein gasfields, either at platform B-55 or B-22. “This is described as an emergency requirement with a jack-up required immediately,” says an industry source.

“ONGC wants to hire the rig before the (2015) monsoon. Rigs idle for the past three years will be eligible to bid, unlike in earlier ONGC tenders.

” This criteria, he adds, is designed to favour Deepsea Treasure which has been idle in the western offshore for three years, a fact that led to her being disqualified late last year in ONGC’s controversial 12-rig tender. “This (proposed one-well tender) is a ruse to get Deepsea Treasure through the backdoor,” says an angry driller.

“Once Jagson gets this contract Deepsea Treasure will be qualified to bid in future ONGC tenders.” Another driller says it is “amazing” how Jagson can manipulate ONGC this way.

Asked to respond, an ONGC source flatly denies any favoritism towards Jagson. “The tender will be open to all,” he said.

“If Jagson wins we’ll bargain with them and get a good rate. Their rig is ready and in the western offshore.

We won't pay them during the monsoon season.”