No news on ONGC move to hire 8 rigs

Vol 20, PW 4 (03 Nov 16) News in Brief

ONGC director technical and field services Shashi Shanker is under fire for delays in issuing an eagerly awaited tender to rehire or replace eight rigs.

A driller claims Shanker has been "sitting" on the file for nearly a month. "We don't know what's going on in his mind," he says.

"Quite possibly ONGC doesn't have enough work for the rigs to justify a tender?" In September ONGC's Executive Committee cleared a proposal to tender for the rigs but since then drillers have heard nothing. In its favour ONGC can expect rates below $50,000/day - a reflection of the global slump in drilling activity and the desperate situation faced by drillers.

"Today there are close to 300 jack-ups lying idle (globally)," says another driller. "Survival will be difficult if we don't get work from ONGC." Shanker's mobile was not reachable and he did not respond to texts for a comment.

ONGC needs to replace or renew seven jack-up contracts with Aban Offshore, Greatship, Dynamic Drilling, Jindal Drilling and Shelf Drilling which all end by May next year (2017).