Three-week delay for Blackford

Vol 13, PW 14 (17 Dec 09) News in Brief

Reliance-hired semi-submersible Blackford Dolphin’s arrival in Indian waters will be delayed by nearly three weeks because of an unexpected problem while drilling off the Oman coast.

PETROWATCH learns Blackford encountered a hard rock foundation while drilling a 12.5-inch hole at Block 18 exploration well, and that the rig’s arrival to India will be delayed by 20 days as Reliance has decided to â€کside-track’ (change the direction of drilling) the well. After sidetracking and completion, Blackford is expected to move to India’s west coast and drill two Reliance wells whose locations are currently under review by rig manager Dolphin Drilling.

Reliance is not keen to have the rig in Indian waters right now, as it faces a shortage of drilling locations. Blackford, which can drill in maximum water depths of 1900 metres, was hired by Reliance for five years from March 2006, but sub-contracted to Tullow Oil for its Jubilee drilling programme offshore Ghana before moving to Oman.

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