Reliance hires Osprey Explorer for 2D campaign

Vol 13, PW 16 (28 Jan 10) Exploration & Production

Reliance is believed to have hired 2D seismic vessel Osprey Explorer from Seabird Exploration to carry out a 2800-lkm survey on India’s east coast.

Neither Reliance nor Seabird would confirm the news but industry sources report a deal to deploy the dual propulsion long offset vessel in Indian waters was sealed last December. Osprey is being mobilised from Singapore, where according to a Seabird announcement on January 10 she has been â€کcold stacked’ for four months.

No firm date for her deployment to Indian waters is available, but it’s likely to be imminent, as the â€کgood weather’ window before monsoon rains typically ends in May – four months away. Some speculate that Reliance might offer the 81-metre long single streamer Osprey to BP for a 1200-lkm survey at NELP-VII block KG-DWN-2005/2 in the Krishna Godavari basin, where both companies have a stake.

BP is operator at the 1949-sq km block with 30%; while Reliance holds 70%. Contacted by this report, a BP spokesman expressed surprise at Osprey’s deployment, but confirmed the company has not yet issued a 2D tender for KG-DWN-2005/2 - its sole oil exploration block in India.

Seabird’s deployment of Osprey brings to seven the confirmed number of seismic vessels in Indian waters. WesternGeco has three boats: Western Spirit for Adani Welspun on the west coast; Geco Bluefin for Reliance on the east coast; and Western Pride for ONGC.

CGGVeritas has two: Geowave Champion with GSPC and Geowave Commander with ONGC. By end-January seismic boat BOS Angler from Norway’s Bergen Offshore is expected to complete its 800-sq km 3D survey at PR-OSN-2004/1 for Cairn, which began on December 16.

An eighth boat, from Russian seismic contractor SMNG, is believed to be ready to start a 9000-lkm 2D assignment for ONGC at three blocks offshore the Andamans, Kerala Konkan and KG basins.