Absent Weatherford surprise in Cairn well bids

Vol 20, PW 24 (24 Aug 17) Exploration & Production

Weatherford's decision to absent itself from Cairn India's tender to drill 81 development wells in Rajasthan has come as a welcome surprise for rivals Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Halliburton who all bid.

In 2008, Weatherford provided customised rigs 806 and 807 to Cairn for three years and its in-depth knowledge of the block was seen by many as giving it a clear advantage. But it elected not to participate by the extended August 21 deadline in the combined Aishwariya-Barmer Hill and Raageshwari Deep gasfield tenders which include setting up surface facilities at Aishariya-Barmer Hill.

Originally these were separate tenders with 39 wells planned at Aishwariya-Barmer Hill and 42 at Raageshwari Deep. "A decision to combine the tenders was communicated to shortlisted bidders two weeks ago," says a source.

"Cairn significantly changed the scope of work." Originally, the Raageshwari Deep gasfield tender required the contractor to put up surface facilities. "But these (Raageshwari) surface facilities do not figure in the new, combined tender and Cairn will tender them out separately," says a source.

"Cairn probably feels it is too much for a single contractor." Weatherford wanted the bid deadline extended beyond August 21 to properly work out the commercial and technical implications of the combined tender - but Cairn refused. Cairn wants the combined assignment completed in two years instead of three as demanded originally.

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