SEISMIC: Acute labour shortage for 2D shoots

Vol 18, PW 14 (12 Mar 15) Exploration & Production

India’s seismic industry is facing a major manpower shortage because of two major seismic acquisition campaigns planned by ONGC and Oil India.

ONGC wants to shoot, process and interpret 40,835-lkm 2D over 22 sedimentary basins beginning October 2015 ending March 2019 while Oil India is planning to shoot, process and interpret 7860-lkm of 2D mainly in north-eastern India - a job that could take up to four years. “ONGC will need 30 different seismic crews, each with 300-400 people including 25-30 senior workers, 100 semi-skilled workers and 250 labourers,” says an industry source.

“Each crew needs a 'party chief' but there are only six-seven guys in India who can handle so much work as 'party chief'.” Labour rates, he adds, will also increase.

“You might see Nigerians, Chinese and Israelis in India, shooting seismic or laying cables,” we hear. Oil India accepted EoIs on February 20 from 26 companies for its campaign while ONGC will receive EoIs by March 19.

Among those expected to show interest are Indian companies Alphageo, IOT Infrastructure & Energy and Asian Oilfield. Foreign companies are likely to include Geokinetics, Geotech, Geofizyka Torun, Pangea, Geotech, PT Elnusa, Terraseis and Geophysical Institute of Israel.

Large companies like PGS and Fugro are expected to stay away while WesternGeco and CGG might offer only to process and interpret data.