Advantage to Vantage in ONGC drillship tender

Vol 23, PW 5 (16 Jan 20) Exploration & Production

Houston-based Vantage Drilling has a clear advantage in ONGC's tender to hire an ultra-deepwater drillship on an 18-month contract to drill in water depths of 3000 metres (10,000 feet).

ONGC wants bids by February 10 in this tender released on January 1. Vantage drillship Platinum Explorer is presently carrying out well completions for ONGC at KG-DWN-98/2 and her three-year contract ends on November 20 (2020).

ONGC's tender says the drillship must be mobilised within 180 days of the LoA, making Platinum the "ideal" rig for this tender, according to industry sources. ONGC rig tender bids are typically valid for 120 days.

Add 180 days for mobilisation and "any rig drilling for ONGC that completes its contract within 300 days (120 + 180) is eligible to compete," we hear. Platinum is also already in India's eastern offshore, where ONGC wants to start working, unlike rivals who must mobilise drillships from across the world.

But industry sources say ONGC can expect to pay up to $200,000/day. "Few drillships are available to drill in water depths of 3000 metres so ONGC should prepare to pay market rates," we hear, "and not expect drillers to undercut each other as in the past for deepwater rigs for shallower waters."

More, the bare minimum operating cost for an ultra-deepwater drillship is $150,000/day so after adding bank interest charges and profit margins "the day rate would be at least $180,000."