ONGC to Rent Five Jackup Rigs

Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. (ONGC) opened bidding for a three-year jackup rig rental contract on Aug. 2, and Aban Offshore Ltd. and Transocean Inc. are in position to win the multimillion-dollar contract.

Aban Offshore will provide three rigs, named Aban III, Aban IV and Aban V, at a rate of $167,000 a day, earning $550 million over the three-year period. For its two rigs, named C.E. Thornton and F.G. McClintock, Transocean will receive a rate of $165,000 a day, earning $361 million over the contract period.

Since 2004, ONGC has rented the five rigs for day rates ranging from $45,200 to $57,600; but the rental contract ends between December 2007 and January 2008. Investments in prospecting for oil, and thus the demand for jackup drilling rigs, has risen due to rising oil prices.

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