Brazilian rig Olinda Star prepares India move

Vol 20, PW 17 (18 May 17) Exploration & Production

Brazilian driller QGOG is expected to begin mobilising semi-submersible Olinda Star in July from Rio de Janeiro to Indian waters to begin a three-year contract for ONGC.

"Star will be dry-towed (on a barge) from Rio and reach Indian waters in about 60 days (by September)," says a source. A QGOG team from Brazil met ONGC officials on May 3 at the 11-High office in Mumbai for a day-long 'kick-off' meeting to finalise the rig's mobilisation schedule.

QGOG was represented by officials Rafael Lucho, Cristiano Azeredo, Felipe Souza, Eduardo von Kruger and Thomas Sheridan while ONGC was represented by Anoop Hansda and his team from the deepwater drilling and others from the operations, finance and logistics departments. QGOG's team left the next day for Kakinada on a two-day visit to inspect shore base facilities on offer from service providers.

Sources expect it will hire Chandra Ship Management as its local clearing and forwarding agent to facilitate clearances from the DGH, home ministry, customs, the Indian Navy and others. "QGOG also visited Chandra's facilities in Kakinada," we hear.

In a sign QGOG wants a permanent base in India, we hear the company is also on the look-out for office space in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) business district of Mumbai. ONGC issued the LoA on April 12 giving the Brazilians six months to mobilise Star to eastern offshore deepwater block KG-DWN-98/2.