At last - Oil India's Karbi Anglong rig tender

Vol 24, PW 18 (29 Jul 21) Exploration & Production

Oil India's exploration-focused frontier basin office in Duliajan has issued its long-awaited tender to hire a 1400-hp rig for its Karbi Anglong block AA-ONN-2010/2 and two nearby OALP blocks in Assam.

After months of speculation, Oil India finally invited offers on July 19 (2021) with a bid deadline of August 19 (2021) and a pre-bid scheduled for July 28 (2021). To receive regular rig tender updates, subscribe to Tenders from Petrowatch.

Karbi Anglong lies in a heavily forested area, home to armed separatists from the banned Karbi People's Liberation Tiger (KBLT) group. Any company with experience operating in this challenging area will have a clear advantage.

"There are a few rig contractors in the northeast," says a source. "Local companies have an advantage in these tenders."

He adds such companies already have rigs working in the northeast, ready to mobilise; they also have a local workforce and don't need to arrange lodging or food expenses. "Plus, they know the terrain well and influential people in the area," we hear.

"All these factors help in reducing costs." By contrast, other companies from outside the northeast also need to calculate if it is viable to bid.

"If you lose, you have spent lakhs just to submit the bid," we learn. Among those likely to bid for the two-year contract with an optional one-year extension are John Energy, Quippo Oil & Gas, Deep Industries, Assam-based JayBee Energy, Kolkata-based Simplex Infrastructures, Mumbai-based Starbit Oilfield Services and Delhi-based Sindhu Trade Links.

"Oil India will receive at least four or five bids," adds a source. Oil India wants to drill two exploration wells at KNEA and KNEB locations inside the 396-sq km Karbi Anglong block to TD of 2500 metres.

Oil India changed the name to KNEB from KA-2 in January (2021); KNEA was earlier known as KA-1. Oil India (50% and operator) shares AA-ONN-2010/2 with ONGC (30%) and GAIL (20%), who both hold non-operator stakes.