Delay over Essar Wildcat leads to GSPC floater tender

Vol 11, PW 15 (15 Nov 07) Exploration & Production

Gujarat State Petroleum has issued a tender to hire a floater to compensate for the delay in mobilisation of Essar owned semi-submersible Essar Wildcat.

PETROWATCH learns that GSPC issued the tender on November 1 and has set November 27 as the closing date by which bids should be sent in. Interested drillers can purchase the tender documents for Rs12,000 ($280).

GSPC wants a floater than can drill in up to 500 metres water depth and which has a 15,000-psi stack Blow Out Preventor. These specifications, especially about the BOP, make it clear that GSPC wants the rig to drill in the shallow offshore KG Basin block KG-OSN-2001/3, where it is battling sub-surface high pressure, high temperature conditions.

Unsurprisingly, GSPC wants the floater mobilised “as early as possibleâ€‌. Any successful bidder will be offered a one or two-year contract.

Drillers see this GSPC tender as a short-term measure to tide over the expected late mobilisation of Essar Wildcat. “GSPC seems reconciled to the fact that it could take anything between one to two years to get Essar Wildcat into shape for drilling,â€‌ says a source.

“So they want a rig in that interval.â€‌ Essar Wildcat has been hired for three years at a day rate of $317,000 and is now berthed at Vizag awaiting critical upgrades.

“We know that there is a delay in mobilisation of Essar Wildcat,â€‌ says a GSPC source. “No decision has been taken to cancel the contract but we want to compensate for further loss of time if there are more delays.

â€‌ He adds: “We are exploring various options and this tender is one such option.â€‌ Moreover, “Essar has told us that the rig will be ready by December and they have given us an item by item schedule for the ongoing upgrade.

â€‌ Adds a driller: “It is not clear what response GSPC will get, as there are not many rigs now in the market with a 15,000-psi BOP stack.â€‌