GSPC wants drilling rig for six offshore wells in Egypt

Vol 12, PW 15 (18 Dec 08) Exploration & Production

GSPC is planning a tender to hire a semi submersible that can drill in 1500-metre water depths for an exploration drilling campaign offshore Egypt in deepwater block North Hap’y, where it is operator with 50%.

The 41,800-sq km North Hap’y block lies in 700 to 1200-metre water depths and GSPC must drill six wells each to around 4500 metres in the four-year Phase-I exploration work programme that began on March 9 this year. Why is GSPC not opting for a drillship “A semi-sub can do the job,â€‌ says GSPC.

“Drillships are more expensive.â€‌ Expect the tender later this month or early next month.

Separately, PETROWATCH learns GSPC has awarded a $30m contract to Norwegian seismic contractor PGS to shoot 3000-sq km 3D over North Hap’y in an assignment expected to begin this month for completion in 75 days. PGS will mobilise survey vessel Ramform Vanguard with either eight or 10 streamers.

Since Ramform Vanguard is presently working for Egyptian state-owned Tharwa Petroleum in an adjacent block “mobilising the vessel won’t take any time at all.â€‌ A source adds that GSPC’s Phase-I 3D commitment at North Hap’y is 2500-sq km “but that it decided to do more.

â€‌ Ramform Vanguard was not hired through a tender but through a â€کfarm-in’ into an existing PGS contract with an unrelated operator, in line with prevailing practice in Egypt. “The original tender (through which Ramform Vanguard was hired in Egypt) was floated by StatoilHydro to shoot seismic (on another block) but the rates are kept uniform in line with (Egyptian) government directives,â€‌ we are told.

GSPC is operator with 50% in North Hap’y and partners Alkor Petroo with 20%. In June this year GeoGlobal Resources assigned its 30% stakes in North Hap’y and a second block, onshore 37,678-sq km South Diyur, back to GSPC.