ONGC to benefit from very low drillship rates

Vol 20, PW 4 (03 Nov 16) Exploration & Production

As expected a swarm of drillers has descended on ONGC's tender to hire three deepwater rigs to drill development wells at the KG-DWN-98/2 block offshore Andhra Pradesh.

Thirteen drillers attended the pre-bid on October 13: Aban Offshore, Deepwater Pacific-1, Dupont Maritime, Dynamic Drilling, Japan Drilling, Brazil's Odebrecht Oleo Gas and Queiroz Galvao Oleo Gas, Odfjell, Planet Support Services India, Saipem Portugal Comercio Maritimo, Universal Energy Resources, Vantage Drilling and Maersk. "I wasn't surprised to see so many players at the pre-bid," says a driller.

"Everyone is looking for work and a three-year contract is a great opportunity." Transocean, Greatship, Jasper Drilling and Vision Projects Technologies also bought tender documents by October 10. Seadrill might also be in the race as it has rigs available.

"Seadrill, Transocean, Maersk, Vantage and Odfjell have their own rigs and can bid aggressively," comments a source. "But Seadrill has mainly new rigs so it might be difficult for them to compete with Transocean or Vantage (who can offer lower rates because they have already recovered the costs of their older rigs)." ONGC issued the tender on September 13 inviting bids for two dynamically positioned drillships and one anchor-moored semi-submersible.

Tender documents are on sale until the November 11 bid deadline, which most expect ONGC to extend until December because by November 2 it had still not issued the pre-bid minutes.