Dolphin Drilling quotes آ‘too highآ’ for category five

Vol 8, PW 7 (30 Jun 04) Exploration & Production

Competition to win the ONGC contract for category four will be between Kedarnath from Great Eastern and CE Thornton from Transocean.

Both rigs are already drilling in India. Next on the list of favourites is Atwood Beacon from Atwood Oceanics, which is drilling for Exxon in Malaysia.

Perro Negro 5 from Saipem is not believed to stand a chance. Daily rates for category four are much lower than for the other three categories: between $38,000 to $44,000 per day.

In category five ONGC is looking for a floater to drill in water depths of up to 600 metres. ONGC has only one 600-floater on its books: Badrinath from Great Eastern on a daily rate of about $36,000 per day.

Dolphin Drilling of the UK is the surprise entrant in this tender with its offer of the Borgeston Dolphin, now drilling in the North Sea. Dolphin is believed to have quoted not less than $65,000 per day, according to a local drilling source.

This way above the market rate and will put Dolphin out of the race. Adds another source: It came as a surprise to us that Dolphin quoted this rate.

They seem to be out of touch with the market. ONGC received a total of seven offers for category five more than for any other category: Atwood Southern Cross (Atwood Oceanics) Frontier Discoverer Frontier Duchess (Frontier Aban) Frontier Ice (Aban Loyd) Borgeston Dolphin (Dolphin Drilling) Scarabeo IV (Saipem) Ocean New Era (Diamond Offshore) None of these rigs are working in India but the rigs offered by Aban Loyd on its own and by its joint venture Frontier Aban have drilled for ONGC in the past.

Atwood Southern Cross drilled last year for Cairn Energy at KG-OS/6. Either Frontier Ice or Atwood Southern Cross look set to win category five.

Frontier Ice was working till March for ONGC at a daily rate of $42,000, we are told. This the most recent rate ONGC has for a 600-feet floater.

ONGC may pay 10% above this rate now for the fresh contract.

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