ONGC scouts US and Canada for onshore rigs

Vol 19, PW 17 (05 May 16) Exploration & Production

Some are happy, some less so, now that ONGC is making loud noises which indicate it might buy 27 new onland drilling and 20 onland workover rigs.

Manufacturers of course are pleased that ONGC sent a five-member team to Houston and Calgary on April 24 to evaluate new rigs on the market. Two days earlier ONGC director [technical and field services] Shashi Shanker returned to Delhi after meeting manufacturers in Italy and Germany.

"The team [sent to Houston and Calgary] included officers from the mechanical, drilling, production and electrical disciplines," says an ONGC source. "The purpose of their visit is to scout for rigs with state of the art technology." ONGC, he adds, wants 1500 and 2000-hp capacity drilling rigs and 50, 100 and 150-tonne workover rigs.

"It's a huge requirement," exclaims a rig manufacturer. "Are they (ONGC) serious? The first time I heard of this project was more than two years back.

When is the tender coming out?" Another ONGC source says its team will submit a report to company management after which EoIs will be invited from eligible rig manufacturers ahead of a tender. Less happy are drilling contractors with rigs in India, many of idle, but they assert ONGC's decision to buy new rigs won't affect them.

"Most land rigs in India will find contracts," says one.