At last - ONGC considers buying jack-ups!

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

ONGC is in the market to buy jack-ups and drillers are responding positively.

Yet some worry ONGC is not serious and just hedging its bets in case it is forced to cancel two tenders to hire three high-spec rigs. Exactly 17 rigs were offered to ONGC at a November 18 meeting in Mumbai after it invited EoIs the same month.

With the drop in offshore drilling activity, it's no surprise companies are eager to sell rigs to ONGC. In any future tender it can expect good prices.

Still unclear is how many rigs ONGC wants to buy: the EoI notice is deafeningly silent. “We asked ONGC how many rigs it wants and the start date for deliveries?” says a likely bidder.

“But ONGC did not give clear answers. All it says is that it is looking for three or five rigs as soon as possible.

” Nor did it go unnoticed that the meeting with drillers was held a day after ONGC’s Independent External Monitors (IEMs) heard arguments in Delhi from Jindal Drilling demanding the disqualification of rivals Hallworthy Shipping and Dynamic Drilling in a tender to hire two high-spec rigs, where eight rigs were offered by July 31. Some rig sellers fear ONGC is lining them up as a back-up if it is forced to cancel that tender after an unfavourable IEM ruling.

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