Chennai: Essar Shipping Ltd has won a $121million contract to drill offshore wells in Indonesia. It will drill 11 offshore wells for the US-based ConocoPhillips.
"We won the deal among a field of strong competitors such as Transocean and Maersk Drilling," said Mr A.R. Ramakrishnan, Managing Director, Essar Shipping.
Essar Shipping's semi-submersible offshore drilling unit, Essar Wildcat, was mobilised for the contract and is now deployed with ConocoPhillips.
This company is one of the largest US integrated energy companies with assets of $160 billion.
ConocoPhillips has been present in Indonesia for over 40 years, operating seven production sharing contracts comprising 19,348 sq. miles.
Essar Wildcat has earlier drilled for Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd off the east coast of India in the Krishna Godavari basin.
Thereafter, the rig has been working with Vietsovpetro (a joint venture between Petro Vietnam and Russia's Zarubezhneft) offshore Vietnam for the past year.
"Going forward, we are well positioned to be a respected global player in the oilfield services industry with an asset base of approximately $1 billion," he said.
The oil fields services business provides contract drilling services to oil and gas companies across the globe. This business owns one semi-submersible rig and 12 land rigs.
More than shipping
Mr Ramakrishnan said that the offshore and onshore drilling business, which is a corollary to the shipping business, is adding a lot of value.
The rig deployed in Indonesia is a good example of how the company can go to international markets and win over competition and do satisfactory drilling business.
The rig earns nearly $285,000 a day; it is a high EBIDTA margin business but calls for high safety in operations.
Through the order in Indonesia, he said, "we have proved that we are capable of doing it."
"We will look at more of international opportunities as we plan to have a strong foothold in the Far East market.
"We have done projects about a year and half in Vietnam, commenced in Indonesia and having dialogues in Malaysia and Indonesia," he said.