ONGC awards three rigs but will re-tender for fourth

Vol 9, PW 18 (15 Dec 05) Exploration & Production

Jindal Drilling, Jagson and Pride International are each set to receive a Letter of Intent from ONGC for its ongoing tender for four jack-up rigs.

Three of the rigs belonging to each of the winners are already operating for ONGC on the western offshore and will have their contracts renewed. A fourth - Trident-2 - belonging to Transocean was not bid, forcing ONGC to re-tender for the fourth rig.

Transocean refused to bid because these days it seems to be only interested in an integrated package for drilling and well services, not just for the rig. On the 9th November deadline for techno-commercial bids Jindal offered Noble Ed Holt and Noble George McLeod; Jagson offered Deepsea Matdrill while Pride offered Pride Pennsylvania and Pride Tennessee.

ONGC wants three 300-feet jack-ups and one 150-feet mat slot rig. Jagson was the only company to offer a mat slot rig.

On 12th December in Mumbai, ONGC opened price bids after receiving fresh prices from the three drillers. The previous week, ONGC asked for price reductions after agreeing to pay service tax and corporation tax and committing to provide assignments to the rigs till post-monsoon (October) 2009 if the fresh contracts end pre-monsoon (April) 2009.

Jindal quoted an operating day rate of about $104,000 for Noble Ed Holt and Jagson quoted an operating day rate of about $41,500 for Deepsea Matdrill. Pride quoted $115,000 for Pride Pennsylvania.

These prices are valid till 8th January. Price bids of neither Noble George McLeod nor Pride Tennessee were opened as Jindal and Pride could not confirm that the rigs would be available.

An industry source says ONGC is expected to call Pride for negotiations to bring down the price of Pride Pennsylvania to that quoted for Noble Ed Holt. Pride does not seem to have sent in a reduced price bid.

Since there was no competition for mat slot rigs, Jagson faces no hurdles in getting the contract. Neither does Jindal.

ONGC is offering three-year contracts that will run from pre-monsoon 2006 when the present contracts expire.

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