Essar Wildcat Gears Up to Drill 2nd Well in KG Basin

Essar Wildcat, the semisubmersible rig of Essar Oilfields Services Limited (EOSL), has successfully completed the first well at the KG Basin location for GSPC, with the actual drilling time being well ahead of schedule. Further to this, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has allocated its second well at KG 20 to EOSL for drilling. The Essar Wildcat semisub has now moved to this second well and has anchored up and is ready to drill for. EOSL is part of the diversified Essar Shipping Ports & Logistics Limited.

"We are now fully anchored up at the new location and we are in the process of commencing drilling activities," said Mr A R Ramakrishnan, Director, ESPLL. He mentioned that the contract with GSPC would go on till mid 2010. The rig is currently anchored in water depths of approximately 500 meters.

Ramakrishnan mentioned that 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.

Ramakrishnan noted that EOSL currently has a fleet of 13 land rigs, with capacities varying from 250 HP to 2,000 HP and one semisubmersible rig. The land rigs are employed at various locations within and outside India, including in Brazil.

The Essar Group, with interests ranging from steel and shipping to refining, is sharpening its focus on the offshore oil field services business.

"We have contracted with ABG to build two Jackup rigs that are expected to join our fleet within December 2011. The company is procuring two jackup rigs at a cost of $440 million from ABG Shipyard. As we move ahead, we will decide on acquiring other assets," Ramakrishnan, said.

After a slight dip in rates following the economic slowdown, the daily charter rates for jackup rigs are again beginning to rise. The rates for deepwater rigs continue to be firm. As the company moves ahead, it plans to tap the offshore and onshore drilling markets within and outside India on a larger scale . It is currently looking at various opportunities in the onshore and offshore drilling space in several geographical regions, including Latin America, West Asia, Africa and Far East Asia.