Rig move; Courtesy of ABL Group

36 offshore drilling rigs move to new locations before monsoon season hits

India’s government-owned company Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has completed 36 rig moves in preparation for the monsoon season with the help of ABL Group, an Oslo-listed energy and marine consultancy.

Rig move; Courtesy of ABL Group

ABL disclosed on Tuesday, 13 June 2023, that it had assisted ONGC as a tow master and marine warranty service (MWS) provider on the rig moves, which equals the record of 36 pre-monsoon rig moves from 2021.

The company explained that the moving of 36 offshore drilling rigs to new locations was conducted using its specialist team of mariners supported by structural and geotechnical engineers, in close cooperation with ONGC’s in-house rig move cell.

As each of the 36 rigs was placed at their respective monsoon locations before the onset of the seasonal adverse weather conditions, the combined total distance travelled for all rigs was 3,680 nautical miles.

Captain Stephen Craig, Middle East and India Operations Manager and ABL’s Jack-up Rig Steering Group leader, remarked: “Moving 36 rigs in such a short time frame to new locations before the onset of the southwest monsoon is quite an achievement.

“Rig moves in the Indian offshore areas, even during normal weather conditions, pose huge challenges to both the tow master and MWS services that must manage environmental, tidal, bathymetric and soil challenges. However, the joint ABL and ONGC team made this a safe and well-executed campaign.”

Furthermore, ABL acted for ONGC’s underwriters, and their appointed consultants, for the duration of the rig-moving campaign. Under the agreement, the company provided marine warranty services to ONGC’s fleet of jack-ups and mobile offshore production units in Indian waters.

The Oslo-listed player highlights that it has assisted with more than 100 rig moves in total offshore India during the previous season from September 2022 to June 2023.

ABL has secured new work recently, including the marine warranty surveyor role for the transportation and installation operations on several Aker BP-operated offshore field developments located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).