Rivals â€کshocked' at Tuff contract with GSPC

Vol 13, PW 21 (08 Apr 10) Exploration & Production

Delhi-based underwear producer Tuff Drilling has won a $100m contract to hire an offshore platform rig to GSPC for its Deen Dayal development programme.

PETROWATCH learns GSPC issued a Letter of Intent (LoI) on March 26 to hire a Tuff rig for a three ‘firm’ year, plus two ‘optional’ one-year extensions contract. Tuff owner Vinay Yadav tells us the rig will be built to GSPC’s specifications by Houston-based DHL International and mobilised to the Deen Dayal platform within 13 months of the LoI date as required by GSPC.

“Nobody thought Tuff would win this contract,” says a rival. “We expected Nabors (who also bid) or another more experienced contractor to win.

” Tuff entered the drilling business in 2008. Before that it was known mainly for making and exporting jeans and boxer shorts! Yadav says Tuff has two new US-made land rigs in India.

“One has started drilling for Heramec (in Gujarat) and the other one will shortly leave for Indonesia to drill for Pertamina.” Yadav said two more new land rigs are ready to ship from Houston.

“We are expecting a LoI soon from an overseas operator for one of them,” adds Yadav. “We are still looking for work for the second one.

” Yadav denied market rumours that Tuff’s rigs have been re-possessed by Kolkata-based lender SREI Finance over the default of a $30m loan. “This is completely untrue! None of our rigs has been repossessed,” he adds.

“In fact, they (SREI) defaulted on their commitment to fund us!” Tuff entered the drilling business in 2008 when global crude prices peaked, but other entrepreneurs with spare cash had the same idea. “Tuff expected to win contracts from ONGC and Jubilant,” says a rival.

“But none of these materialised.” Others allege Tuff could not even arrange crew for its land rigs.

“How can it hope to handle manning an offshore rig” we hear.