Swiber cloud overshadows ONGC gas at Daman

Vol 19, PW 26 (08 Sep 16) Exploration & Production

ONGC is celebrating first gas from its long-awaited Daman development despite uncertainty over the ability of near-bankrupt Swiber to complete a contract to install eight unmanned wellhead platforms.

ONGC announced on August 30 that first well C24-P4#3 had begun producing an impressive 108,189 cm/d sweet gas and 176 b/d condensate from August 20 and that, "three more wells are going to be ready within a month." Using rigs Virtue 1 and Discovery 1, ONGC adds completion of "complicated lower completion jobs" from platforms C24-P4 and C24-P3 is proceeding to schedule. Despite this rosy outlook, doubts linger if ONGC can meet its ambitious Daman production target of 8.35m cm/d gas and 9286 b/d condensate, announced on August 28, 2014 when directors approved the Rs5219cr ($780m) development.

In-place wellhead platforms C24-P4, C24-P3 plus riser platform C24-RP are just three of eight promised by Swiber when it won a $308m contract from ONGC in February 2015 that includes a 101.5-km subsea pipeline. Swiber however is sinking deeper into oblivion and it's unclear if ONGC can take delivery of the remaining five wellhead platforms C24-P2, C24-P5, B12-11, B12-13 and B12-15.

Swiber out-sourced their construction to PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC) on January 15 with a tight completion target of December this year (2016). On July 29, Swiber narrowly avoided liquidation after agreeing a Singapore-court administered debt package.

Still unclear is how this will impact its arrangement with PetroVietnam.

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