Essar Oilfields Services Limited (EOSL) has achieved financial closure for its semisubmersible rig, Essar Wildcat. The rig which is currently drilling for Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) in the KG basin off Eastern India has been awarded a second well after successfully completing drilling the first well ahead of schedule.
Announcing this financial closure, Mr. V Ashok, Director, ESPLL mentioned that the closure had taken place for the Wildcat for an amount of US $240 million. A consortium of offshore as well as Indian banks were involved in this financial closure. The company has been given a four-year facility at competitive terms.
Ashok mentioned that the current contract with GSPC would go on till mid 2010. The rig is currently drilling in water depths of 500 meters. While at KG 19, the rig had drilled to its target depth of 5400 meters and is expected to do the same at its new location. In addition, Essar Wildcat had received excellent HSE recommendations on an independent audit conducted by IRCA.
After a slight dip in rates following the economic slowdown, the daily charter rates for jackup rigs are again beginning to rise, with such assets commanding rates between $1,20,000 and $1,50,000 a day. "We expect the market to hold in the coming months," Ashok said.
As the company acquires new assets, it plans to tap the offshore and onshore drilling markets outside India. It is currently looking at various opportunities in the onshore and offshore drilling space in several regions, including the Norwegian region, Latin America, West Asia, Africa and Asia.
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