Eni wants Phase-I extension at Andaman block

Vol 13, PW 11 (05 Nov 09) Exploration & Production

Italian explorer Eni is expected to seek an eight-month extension to its Phase-I work programme at Andaman deepwater block AN-DWN-2003/2.

This is because the first phase of exploration ends on December 4, 2009 but deepwater drillship Saipem 10000 owned by Eni subsidiary Saipem is unlikely to reach the NELP-V block before August next year to drill three committed exploration wells. PETROWATCH hears operator Eni (40%) has had several meetings with partners ONGC (45%) and GAIL (15%) over the past few weeks but as of (Monday) November 2 no formal extension request had been sent to the DGH.

“The request will be made soon,â€‌ says an industry source. Saipem 10000 is currently drilling for Total offshore Angola and is scheduled to head to Indonesia in March next year to drill two or three wells.

From Indonesia the rig is scheduled to go to Singapore sometime in May where it will undergo â€کrecertification’ with all equipment and machinery checked for safety. Seaworthiness trials will also be carried out.

That process should take approximately two months before Saipem 10000 reaches India by July or August. Partial confirmation of this schedule comes in an ongoing tender for Andaman drilling services, which Eni wants around August 2010.

Eni, we hear, has received bids for well testing, tubulars, well heads and other allied services. “Companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger have submitted bids,â€‌ says a source.

“Eni should finalise the tender between January and March next year so that â€کlong lead’ items are ready by June or July 2010.â€‌ But according to another source, this tender may be further delayed as an extra destination has been added to Saipem 10000’s itinerary: East Timor, where Eni has stakes in five offshore blocks.

“I don’t think Saipem 10000 can reach India by August if it stops in East Timor,â€‌ says a source, “but no one at Eni will say that officially.â€‌