Essar buys 14 rigs for new drilling business

Vol 10, PW 12 (05 Oct 06) News in Brief

Essar has re-launched its drilling business.

PETROWATCH learns the Mumbai-based conglomerate has bought 14 onshore rigs: six of them are already in India; four of these are second hand and two are brand new. Five are in Gujarat and one is in West Bengal.

Essar is re-entering this business after three years at an opportune time, the company tells us. Contract drilling rates have doubled in the last three years.

Essar plans to use three of the six rigs at its own onshore blocks and is scouting for contracts for the other three. The other eight rigs we have bought are still abroad, adds Essar.

We dont plan to bring them to India and want to get contracts for them outside India. Essar refuses to disclose where it bought the rigs but industry sources tell us they come from Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Essar also tells us it has plans to increase its rig fleet. In May 2003, Essar sold its earlier drilling business to Muscat-based Dalma Energy.