Hallworthy beats Jindal in new-build rig race

Vol 19, PW 9 (14 Jan 16) Exploration & Production

Hallworthy Shipping, part of the NRI-controlled but UK-based Foresight Group, is celebrating victory as it prepares to sign its first drilling rig contract in India since 1994.

When ONGC opened price bids on January 5, Hallworthy offered under-construction rigs Vivekanand-1 and Vivekanand-2, each for an Effective Day Rate (EDR) of $78,673.97 - not including mobilisation/demobilisation charges or Service Tax, for a three-year contract. Far behind was Jindal Drilling new-build Jindal Explorer, offered at $87,934.79, and new-build Jindal Pioneer, offered at $89,304.66.

Aban Offshore offered Deep Driller-5 and Aban VIII, each for $88,834.29. Dynamic Oil & Gas did not confirm the availability of under-construction rig Dynamic Momentum, nor did Greatship confirm availability of Greatrdill Chitra.

No surprise as Chitra received a LoA on December 30, 2015 in a separate ONGC tender to hire one high-spec jack-up for three years. Some predict ONGC will ask Hallworthy to match the rate it hired Chitra for Vivekanand-1 and Vivekanand-2.

Chitra was offered at an EDR of $74,7000 but ONGC negotiated this rate down by $400/day after opening bids on December 1, 2015. Hallworthy last won an Indian contract more than 20 years ago when it hired Foresight Driller-3 to ONGC for three years to drill at the Mumbai High.

Victory in this tender will be particularly painful for Jindal Drilling which has complained bitterly to ONGC's external monitors and the Delhi High Court about the rejection of its two rigs.

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