Questions on ONGC pre-bid for 3 deepwater rigs

Vol 20, PW 1 (22 Sep 16) Exploration & Production

Because of its unusual criteria ONGC's much-awaited tender to hire three deepwater rigs is likely to attract several queries at a pre-bid scheduled for October 13.

ONGC issued the tender on September 13 to hire two DP-equipped deepwater drillships that can drill in water depths of 1500 metres and one anchor-moored semisubmersible that can drill in water depths of 600 metres for three years. Any driller with queries must submit them by October 4.

Intense competition is expected in Category-I for the 1500 metre drillships because of little work elsewhere. But drillers are confused by ONGC's demand that the 1500 metre rigs should be equipped to drill in minimum water depths of 457 metres.

"Why has this been specified?" questions a driller. "Most ultra-deepwater drillships are designed to work in minimum water depths of 500 metres." Earlier drillships like Platinum Explorer and DD-KG1 hired by ONGC have a minimum rated water depth of 500 metres.

Drillers are also questioning ONGC's decision to specify the size of the 'moonpool' in Category-I - a hole through the rig used to perform drilling operations and to lower a bottom hole assembly like a X-Mas tree and other equipment into the well. "In the last tender to hire a 1500 metre DP (in 2015) ONGC didn't specify the moonpool size," we hear.

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