Essar Wildcat now expected by end-January at KG#19

Vol 11, PW 17 (10 Jan 08) Exploration & Production

GSPC expects to have semi-submersible Essar Wildcat on location and ready to drill well KG#19 at discovery block KG-OSN-2001/3 by the end of this month (January).

“Essar tells us the rig will be ready by mid-January,â€‌ reports a GSPC source. Fingers crossed Essar Wildcat won’t miss this latest mobilisation schedule! “Essar earlier informed GSPC that the rig would be ready by end-December, but then extended the date to January,â€‌ we hear.

GSPC has written several strongly worded letters to Essar over the repeated delays in mobilising Essar Wildcat, which was originally expected to start drilling for GSPC in early August. “Pandian (GSPC MD) is worried over the unavailability of Essar Wildcat,â€‌ we hear.

“Essar has told GSPC that the delays are because the Blow Out Preventor is late in coming.â€‌ But an industry source tells us this is not entirely correct.

“The BOP is delayed because Essar is not making payments on time,â€‌ he says. “Payments are being made only in bits and pieces to the various vendors and contractors associated with the project.

How do you expect anyone to work wholeheartedly if they’re not being paid on timeâ€‌ Another source in Singapore disagrees, saying the BOP is now almost ready. “All the major parts have come in and are being put together.

The BOP is being built up from scratch. It has taken less than a year for the BOP to be built - this is a world record as the normal time is two years.

â€‌ Construction activity aboard Essar Wildcat, berthed alongside Vizag port on the east coast, has picked up. “The crown blocks, mud pumps, top drive and pipe handling equipment are being upgraded,â€‌ we hear.

“There is also a lot of welding being done to upgrade the rig.â€‌ The BOP is expected to be brought in by barge sometime mid-January and will then be fitted underneath the rig.

LNG Summit