Quippo frontrunner in 4-rig tender from ONGC

Vol 19, PW 15 (07 Apr 16) Exploration & Production

Size matters - even with drilling rig fleets.

Which goes some way in explaining why driller Quippo is widely perceived to have the best chance in ONGC's tender to hire four 2000-hp land rigs for three years, published on March 8 with a May 4 bid submission deadline. Quippo has eight rigs available; its closest rival John Energy has only three.

Quippo and John representatives attended ONGC's pre-bid in Delhi on April 5; Essar was earlier thought to be interested but didn't attend because it won't be bidding. Quippo owns five rigs, two of 2000-hp capacity.

One mobilised for Oil India under a three-year contract last month (March) but another is idle in Rajasthan and available. Quippo is also in an enviable position because it has taken over management of 14 rigs previously owned by beleaguered driller Shiv Vani.

Seven are in such bad condition they are unusable but six can be deployed after the addition of critical equipment. One is in good condition.

John, with a fleet of 30 rigs, only has three 2000-hp rigs to spare. Yet it should not be underestimated.

A source points out that when Quippo mobilised the rig last month for Oil India it failed to complete the 'rig up' because many critical handling tools were missing. Quippo is frantically scouring the market and has even approached other drillers to rent tools.