Six drillers fight for Oil India Rajasthan work

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

Six companies are fighting it out for an Oil India drilling contract in Rajasthan's inhospitable Thar desert scheduled to kick-off in 2017.

On October 18, Oil India opened technical bids from John Energy, Rasson Energy, Essar Oilfield, Quippo Oil and Gas, Kolkata-based Arihant Cargo and a joint venture of Top Hydrocarbons and Shiv Vani. "I don't expect commercial bids will be opened before December," predicts one of the bidders.

"Ten companies bought documents but only six have bid." Oil India wants to hire a 1000-hp rig for one year with an optional six-month extension to drill at its Baghewala and Dandewala PML areas. An Oil India source tells us that over this period it believes it can drill five or possibly six of the 20 development wells planned at the 210-sq km Baghewala heavy oilfield and one or two wells at Dandewala.

Oil India plans to begin development drilling at Baghewala in the Bikaner-Nagaur basin and Dandewala in the Jaisalmer block in the first quarter of 2017-18 or between April and June 2017. Both horizontal and vertical wells will be drilled to depths from 1200 to 2800 metres.

"We want to move fast!" says an Oil India source, emphatically. "Mobilisation will take around 90 days (3 months) so we want to award the LoA latest by end-December." Last month Oil India received the all-important environmental clearance for its Baghewala drilling programme allowing the company to plan its drilling campaign.