GSPC and GAIL hire Dewanchand for Rajasthan

Vol 14, PW 15 (27 Jan 11) Exploration & Production

Joint operators GSPC and GAIL have hired Mumbai-based onland driller Dewanchand Ramsaran for their maiden drilling programme at Rajasthan NELP-VI block RJ-ONN-2004/1.

When price bids were opened on January 8, Dewanchand beat Essar, Quippo and Essar with an offer of $11,000/day for its 1000-hp rig LCI-1100, capable of drilling up to 3500 metres below the surface. Dewanchand received its LoI last week and has 60 days to mobilise the rig, easily done, as the rig is ‘hot-stacked’ at Mehsana in nearby Gujarat since last July, after she completed a drilling programme for Reliance.

GSPC and GAIL want to drill three ‘firm’ and two ‘optional’ wells. Under the minimum work programme, six wells have been committed at this 4613-sq km block in Phase-I, which ends on November 5, but the consortium is confident it can secure a six-month extension from the DGH.

One ‘firm’ well will be drilled to 1400 metres, another to 1500 metres and the third to 1600 metres. The first well is tentatively planned for March 1, when wellheads, pipes, casings and other equipment will have reached location.

“Equipment began coming in from the second week of January,” says a source. Drilling of the three firm wells is expected to take four months and the first well will be tested by the Dewanchand rig.

Later, the consortium will hire a workover rig to test the other wells. This is the third time a tender was floated to hire a rig for the Phase-I drilling programme.

Last June Essar, Dewanchand, John Energy and Shiv-Vani bid in an earlier tender but this was scrapped for technical reasons. A second tender was issued in October 2010 in which John Energy, Dewanchand, Quippo and Shiv-Vani responded but Shiv-Vani was rejected and this tender too was scrapped as John Energy withdrew its rig, forcing the consortium to float the present tender on December 10.