Essar circles Greka CBM rig contract with ONGC

Vol 21, PW 2 (19 Oct 17) Exploration & Production

Essar Oilfields Services is waiting in the wings to replace UK-listed Greka Drilling if it fails to mobilise in time to begin drilling 73 development wells at ONGC's Bokaro CBM block or BK-CBM-2001/1 in Jharkhand.

This report learns Greka wrote to ONGC in mid-September asking for an extension to the mobilisation deadline from October 24 to November 27. "ONGC has agreed," reports a well-placed source.

"There is a slight delay but Greka will mobilise." However industry sources tell us ONGC held informal talks with Essar in mid-September to gauge if Essar could take over in an emergency. "ONGC called Essar to Bokaro," we hear.

"They asked Essar if its CBM rigs could be mobilised at short notice." Essar, he adds, readily agreed to mobilise three Schramm-built rigs for the ONGC assignment, if awarded. "Essar's rigs are at Raniganj," we hear.

"Raniganj is only 60-km from Bokaro. These idle rigs can be mobilised quickly if needed." Asked if it had informal discussions with Essar an ONGC source in Bokaro denied it categorically.

"No such discussions are on," he said. But another source believes if Greka fails to mobilise ONGC will have no option but to scrap the contract and issue a fresh fast-track tender.

"ONGC can't hire rigs on nomination without tender," he adds. "But the tender (if re-issued) will be finalised quickly." ONGC hired Greka on June 10, 2017 giving it 120 days to mobilise.

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