Indian-owned seismic vessel looks for work

Vol 13, PW 17 (11 Feb 10) Exploration & Production

Offshore seismic acquisition in India has traditionally been the preserve of foreign contractors - but not for much longer! One of India’s largest offshore service contractors, Mumbai-based Hind Offshore, hopes to break into a business dominated by the likes of CGGVeritas, PGS, Fugro and Western Geco.

Hind supplies offshore logistics support services including accommodation and work barges, multi-purpose supply vessels and tug boats to the oil industry. But last December it took a leap in the dark with the purchase of seismic acquisition vessel Geo Hindsagar (above left) from Fugro.

PETROWATCH learns Hind has set up a 100% subsidiary called Fathom Seismic to operate the vessel. Until now the only other Indian company to own an Indian-registered seismic vessel was ONGC, which operates Sagar Sandhani, commissioned in 1986.

An earlier ONGC seismic vessel called Anveshak, commissioned in 1975, is no longer in service. Formerly called Geo Baltic,the newly-christened Geo Hindsagar reached India’s west coast on January 25 and is today anchored off Mumbai.

“An Indian-flagged seismic vessel is a matter of national pride,â€‌ says an industry sources. Hind managing director MC Kshirsagar tells us his company has been planning to buy a seismic vessel for two years.

“I’m surprised no Indian company has thought of entering the seismic acquisition business,â€‌ he says. “Foreigncontractors come here and make money.

I thought an Indian company should take some of that business.â€‌ Hind is talking to established foreign contractors to operate the vessel as a joint venture – but without diluting its own equity in Fathom Seismic.

One company Hind is reportedly talking to is Geo Hindsagar's former owner - Fugro! “We will join hands with whoever offers us the best deal,â€‌ adds Kshirsagar. “But we won’t share equity.

We would like to tie up with someone who can process data.â€‌