Cairn set to hire Hercules-30 for Ravva programme

Vol 9, PW 11 (08 Sep 05) Exploration & Production

Cairn Energy is in talks with Texas-based Hercules Offshore LLC to hire its Hercules-30 mat-supported jack up rig for a six-well development programme at Ravva.

PETROWATCH learns Cairn hopes to meet representatives of Hercules Offshore next week to discuss contract terms, mobilisation rates and the daily hire rate. A source reveals this could be anything between $70-$80,000 per day, given the prevailing global shortage of rigs.

Also attending the meeting will be representatives from Discovery Hydrocarbons, a Jindal Drilling Group affiliate and the designated rig manager of Hercules-30. Cairn is expected to issue the Letter of Intent when contract terms are finalised.

Only two companies submitted bids for the Cairn tender, which closed on 27th May this year: Hercules Offshore and The Offshore Drilling Company, or TODCO, represented in India by Steelfab. An industry source tells us TODCO, formerly a Transocean firm, bid two rigs: Odin Spirit and THE-252.

Cairn is on schedule to begin its 6-well development programme at Ravva by the end of the year, despite earlier fears for the safety of Hercules-30, which is located in the Gulf of Mexico, hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. This rig wasnt hit or affected by the hurricane, reveals a source.

Other rigs from the same contractor were hit but this one escaped. Cairn hopes Hercules-30 can reach Ravva by mid-November or early December to begin its development work programme for 2005-2006, which is aimed at maintaining plateau production at 50,000 b/d.

Cairn expects each well will take a month to drill, and that the development programme will last a minimum six months. Ravva is widely considered to be a mature field in decline with little or no upside.

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