Desperate times for once-thriving Transocean

Vol 19, PW 2 (24 Sep 15) Exploration & Production

Transocean, the world’s largest offshore driller, is in a dire situation in India where for the first time in 10 years it might soon have few live contracts.

On September 18 ONGC released Transocean semi-submersible GSF 140, its only rig on contract with ONGC, hired at $156,000/day. Next month (October) Reliance is expected to release Transocean drillship DD-KG2 from its contract at $295,000/day.

"Everyone at Transocean is worried," reports a source. "This is the first time in 10 years it has only one rig operational.

Transocean’s only hope for survival in India are the ONGC tenders to hire five deepwater rigs." In its drillship tender for two rigs which closed on August 20, Transocean offered DD-KG2, Deepwater Millennium, Deepwater Frontier and Discoverer Enterprise - all can drill in water depths of up to 1500 metres.

In another ONGC tender to hire three rigs that closed on August 24, Transocean offered semi-submersibles MG Hulme Jr, Transocean Marianas and GSF 140 - all can drill in water depths of up to 2500 feet (762 metres). Transocean is confident it can win contracts for at least three rigs but others are less sure.

Krishna Singhania, its operations director, defected to rival Seadrill last month (August). “Singhania is sharp,” we hear.

“He knows the Indian market and ONGC inside out and can screw up Transocean’s plans by winning the contracts for Seadrill.”