ONGC: Expects Jackup Day Rates to Ease

NEW DELHI Jul 10, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (500312.BY) expects the supply shortage of shallow water rigs to ease by 2009 and plans to hire three or four rigs by the fiscal year ending March 2012, company chairman R.S. Sharma said.

"We expect the shallow water jackup rig position to ease by 2009 and newbuild rigs are now being quoted at cheaper rates," Sharma told reporters late on Monday evening. "We need three to four more rigs by 2011-12."

However, Sharma didn't specify whether the company is looking for shallow or deepwater rigs.

ONGC currently has 29 rigs deployed, of which 10 are owned by the company while the rest are chartered, Sharma said.

Sharma said rentals for new jackups have fallen to between $133,000 and $139,000 a day from $147,000 to $149,000 last year.

He said the company hopes its Mahanadi and Krishna Godavari gas find off India's eastern coast will turn into major producers.

"We hope to complete our development plan for Krishna Godavari by 2008 and start production by 2012," Sharma said. .

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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