Platinum Explorer no longer needed by ONGC

Vol 19, PW 7 (03 Dec 15) Exploration & Production

Financially troubled US driller Vantage Drilling can’t be happy its rig Platinum Explorer has been released by ONGC a month early.

But a small consolation is that at least its final job for ONGC went off with a bang. PETROWATCH learns ONGC released Explorer after successfully carrying out a re-entry last month (November) at well UD-1 in the Southern Discovery Area of the KG-DWN-98/2 deepwater block.

“UD-1 was a re-entry for testing,” says a source at ONGC’s deepwater drilling group. “Earlier we carried out only a Modular Dynamic Test.

This time the results of the DST were better than before.” While testing, he adds, UD-1 in water depths of more than 2800 metres flowed at an impressive rate of 800,000 cm/d over four days.

ONGC told Vantage to demobilise Explorer by November 28, even though the five-year $590,000/day contract ends in December. “The contract has a provision to release the rig one month early,” explains ONGC.

“We issued Vantage a notice in October (2015) conveying our decision to release the rig.” Our source adds ONGC was thinking of sending the rig to drill a well in the Mahanadi basin after testing UD-1 but dropped that plan because of a naval exercise warning in the area.

ONGC also dropped plans to drill well GD-15AA in the KG basin area.

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