Aban rig in Sharjah after OVL contract

Vol 12, PW 1 (29 May 08) News in Brief

Chennai-based drilling contractor Aban Offshore is expected to keep the Aban-VII jack-up at a yard in Sharjah until mid-July following its two-well drilling campaign for ONGC Videsh at Najwat Najem offshore Qatar.

PETROWATCH learns Aban is considering whether to convert the 250-feet independent leg cantilever jack-up into a 300-ft rig, for which there is more demand. “It made no sense for OVL to keep the rig idle,â€‌ reveals a source, “until it decides what to do about Najwat Najem.

â€‌ OVL hired Aban-VII in June last year to drill two appraisal wells, the results of which are under review. Industry watchers interpreted OVL’s decision to release Aban-VII in February as a sign it is about to relinquish the block.

Asked to comment officially, a senior OVL official is vague. “Once the results come in,â€‌ we hear, “OVL will decide if it wants to drill a third well at the block.

We are talking to Qatar Petroleum about the block and would not like to comment further.â€‌

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