ONGC moves 36 offshore rigs ahead of monsoon season

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has moved 36 of its drilling rigs offshore its native India to new, more sheltered, locations in advance of the 2023 monsoon season.

Energy and marine consultancy ABL assisted as tow master and marine warranty service (MWS) provider on the rig moves, which equals the record of 36 pre-monsoon rig moves from 2021. The moves were conducted using ABL’s specialist team of mariners supported by structural and geotechnical engineers, in close cooperation with the operator’s in-house rig move cell.

Each of the 36 rigs was placed at their respective monsoon locations before the onset of the seasonal adverse weather conditions. The combined total distance travelled for all the drilling units was 3680 nautical miles, noted ABL.

The consultancy also acted for ONGC’s underwriters, and their appointed consultants, for the duration of the rig moving campaign. Under the agreement, ABL provided MWS to ONGC’s fleet of jack-ups and mobile offshore production units in Indian waters.

Huge challenges

“Moving 36 rigs in such a short time frame to new locations before the onset of the southwest monsoon is quite an achievement. Rig moves in the Indian offshore areas, even during normal weather conditions, pose huge challenges to both the tow master and MWS services that must manage environmental, tidal, bathymetric and soil challenges,” said ABL’s jack-up rig steering group leader, Stephen Craig.

“However, the joint ABL and ONGC team made this a safe and well executed campaign.”

In total, Oslo-listed ABL assisted with more than 100 rig moves offshore India during the previous [non-monsoon] season from September 2022 to June 2023.