Photo: Jindal Explorer; Source: Jindal

ONGC awards three-year deal to Jindal jack-up

Indian oil and gas company ONGC has hired a jack-up drilling rig from compatriot offshore drilling contractor Jindal Drilling & Industries.

Jindal said on Wednesday that the ONGC sent a letter of award for the charter of the jack-up drilling rig Jindal Explorer.

According to the company, the contract is for a period of three years. The drilling firm did not disclose the value of the contract or any other details of the deal.

The Jindal Explorer jack-up is a rig of a Keppel’s KFELS B design, delivered in late 2014. It is capable of operating in water depths of 350 feet and drilling down to 30,000 feet.

The Indian offshore drilling rig market has had a bit of an up and down few weeks. ONGC recently hired two rigs for work off India while another rig suspended work due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This week, Shelf Drilling won a contract for the Trident XII jack-up rig with ONGC. According to the offshore driller, the planned start-up of operations is in the fourth quarter of 2021. Bassoe Offshore estimates the dayrate to be around $30,000.

Less than two weeks ago, Shelf Drilling won a three-year deal for the J.T. Angel jack-up rig, also from ONGC. The rig was hired to operate in the same region as the Trident XII.

The planned start-up of operations for the J.T. Angel is, like for the Trident XII, set for the fourth quarter of 2021.

As for the not so fortunate rig, Aban Offshore’s Aban IV suspended operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The rig is also under contract with ONGC.

The update from the drilling contractor for the suspension of operations on the Aban IV rig came during India’s toughest battle with Covid-19 cases with its healthcare system at a breaking point.