Ensco 53 rig starts drilling first of six wells at PMT

Vol 12, PW 25 (21 May 09) Exploration & Production

This month Jack-up Ensco 53 began development drilling for BG, Reliance and ONGC at the Panna, Mukta and Tapti fields offshore Mumbai.

PETROWATCH learns the rig reported to location on April 28, two days before the April 30 deadline in the Letter of Intent (LoI) issued to US-based Ensco. Ensco 53 docked at the PK platform on April 30, completing the â€کjacking down’ and cantilever arm-stretching operation by May 2.

But although the rig was ready on May 2 to spud the first of six planned development wells from the PK platform, nothing could be done because no drill pipes were available, as BG had not arranged supply boats on time. BG subsequently asked ONGC for the use of a supply boat working in the vicinity, but ONGC refused because it was also hard pressed for time to complete separate unconnected activities before May 15, when rough pre-monsoon seas put a halt to all offshore transport activity.

Finally, a supply vessel was arranged and reached PK with all the required equipment and Ensco 53 began drilling on May 8 when she lowered the conductor casing to the seabed at the well location. Each well is expected to take around four months to drill, cost about $17m, and produce 800 b/d additional oil, most of which will replace the 15% to 18% natural production decline from the three fields.

Separately, there is no word on when BG will re-install the SWP jacket, which toppled into the Arabian Sea on February 3, while being installed on location. Two weeks ago the jacket was retrieved from the seabed in a complex operation and taken to Pipavav port in Gujarat.

Luckily, no significant damage was found. But the estimated $17m cost of the retrieval and transport operation remains a worry, as insurance payments are uncertain.

“PMT partners need to prove the accident is covered or it will get no relief from insurers.â€‌