Work begins on ONGCآ’s deepwater programme

Vol 7, PW 11 (13 Aug 03) Exploration & Production

Finally, the speculation is over, and ONGC is getting down to the serious business of executing its ambitious deepwater drilling programme.

On Monday 11th August ONGC launched the programme with a 'kick-off' meeting in Mumbai with drilling contractor Transocean Sedco Forex whose drillship Discoverer Seven Seas has been awarded a three year integrated services contract to drill in water depths of 1,800 metres. PETROWATCH learns Discoverer Seven Seas will be paid an operating day rate of $153,348 and a non-operating day rate of $138,500.

Then there is the rig equipment breakdown rate of $130,700. ONGC wants the rig on location within 180 to 210 days of 1st August, when it placed the firm order on Transocean.

If the rig and attendant services are not mobilised within this period, the contract will be automatically terminated, unless ONGC has extended the mobilisation period. As soon as the rig arrives on location, Transocean will be paid a 'lump sum' mobilisation fee of $5m.

But no demobilisation fee is payable to Transocean, clearly indicating that the company expects the rig to stay on in Indian waters for much longer than three years drilling for either ONGC or other private explorers. Also part of ONGC's rate schedule for Transocean is $2,525 - the rig move rate per nautical mile.

This comes into effect when the rig moves from one drilling location to another. Also on offer from Transocean, should ONGC require it, is a hydrogen sulphide detection and protection system that can be hired for $1,685.

We understand that ONGC will reimburse Transocean the cost of 66 kilolitres diesel that Discoverer Seven Seas is estimated to use every day. Transocean's Indian agent, Enpro Oil, will be paid 1.47% as commission out of the 'gross revenue' received by the driller.

Dolphin Drilling is also part of ONGC's deepwater drilling project. Dolphin's rig Belford Dolphin was, on 1st August, awarded a three-year contract to drill in water depths of 3,000 metres, at a day rate of $191,700.

A 'kick-off' meeting in Mumbai with representatives of Dolphin Drilling is scheduled for Thursday, 14th August.