For sale - two rigs from Nabors

Vol 24, PW 18 (29 Jul 21) News in Brief

Houston-based Nabors Drilling is looking for buyers for its two "bolt-on" modular workover rigs Sundowner-5 and Sundowner-7 as the US driller prepares its "painful" exit from India.

Aged between 10-12 years, both rigs are anchored off Mumbai port after Sundowner-7 completed its ONGC contract in December (2020) and Sundowner-5 in January (2021). Both are in reasonably good condition, we hear.

"If Nabors decides to take them away it would cost around $500,000 for transportation and another $500,000 for anchorage and manpower," says a source. "As Nabors has already recovered the cost of the rigs it's not worth taking the trouble taking them away."

Using "word of mouth" Nabors is looking for a buyer ready to pay anything between $5-$10m for each rig. "Buying a new modular rig would cost around $20m," says a source.

Failing a sale, Nabors appears ready to sell off the rigs as "scrap" similar to another to its rigs, Sundowner-6, lying at a yard off Navi Mumbai which "has already been sold off piece-by-piece." Earlier interest from Dilip Sanghvi-owned Sun Petro appears to have waned with talks breaking down over Sun's request to Nabors for a crew to operate the rigs citing its inexperience with workover operations.

In May (2021), Nabors laid off up to 180 engineers, technicians and other skilled workers after its disqualification in an ONGC tender for two jack-up or workover rigs to replace Sundowner-5 and Sundowner-7. For a complete breakdown of all offshore rigs operating and expected in Indian waters, click here.