Companies line up to offer jack-ups in PMT rig tender

Vol 12, PW 17 (29 Jan 09) Exploration & Production

British Gas, ONGC and Reliance – joint operators of the Panna, Mukta and Tapti western offshore oil and gasfields - are spoiled for choice in a tender for a jack-up to replace Deep Driller 4 before its contract ends on April 25.

Nine drillers responded – with a total 12 rigs - to the tender by the January 22 deadline for a contract that will run for a â€کfirm’ period of nine months, followed by two â€کoptional’ periods of three and six months, a total 18 months. “There’s an excess of jack-ups in the market,â€‌ a drilling source tells us.

“That will definitely reflect in the price bids.â€‌ Deep Driller-4 was originally hired by Reliance for its own drilling programme at $194,000/day, but is on a six-month loan to the PMT consortium at $170,000/day (minus mob’ charges).

PETROWATCH learns the following companies have offered rigs: Rowan Drilling (Arch Rowan and Ralph Coffman); Diamond Offshore (Ocean Heritage); Premium Drilling (Deep Driller-4); Jindal Drilling (Noble Harvey Duhaney); Transocean (Key Gibraltar); Ensco (Ensco 53 and Ensco 106); Saipem (Perro Negro 6 and Perro Negro 2); Atwood Oceanics (Vicksburg); and UMW Standard Drilling (Naga 3). Pride International was expected to bid, but did not.

No date has been set for opening price bids. “We are still carrying out a technical evaluation of the offers,â€‌ reports a PMT source, hinting that the consortium might retain Deep Driller-4.

“One of the reasons for the tender was to compare what we are paying for Deep Driller-4 with market rates,â€‌ he said. Some drillers believe PMT will retain Deep Driller-4 because it is already in place.

“With Deep Driller-4, the consortium won’t have to pay mobilisation charges.â€‌ But another driller suggests that won’t be the case because a large number of jack-ups are looking for work in the depressed global economic climate and the fall in crude oil prices.

“Everything depends on how desperate the others are to get this contract,â€‌ he says. “Ensco has seven jack-ups looking for work.