Drilling the Impossible into Possible Across the Local Boundaries

Raghav Jindal
It is known fact that there has been tremendous turmoil in the oil and gas sector the world over in the past few years, where the fluctuations in the crude prices have been all time high and the geopolitical issues have been on the rise, affecting the charter rates for rigs. Drilling contractors have not remained unaffected by these factors, but Jindal Drilling & Industries Limited (JDIL) has shown quite a sustainable performance and is sailing through the adverse phase quite promisingly, says Raghav Jindal, MD, JDIL in an interview with Offshore World.

"JDIL has sailed through the turbulent conditions, ensuring the safety of our crews, delivering excellent services to our customers and working even harder than ever to earn confidence of our stakeholders and investors. The foundation of the confidence in making such promises come from the financial discipline and operational excellence," articulates Jindal.
He goes on to say that a very important milestone in their strategic transformation was the successful completion of the rig contracts with ONGC. "Several important initiatives were launched during the year towards meeting operational excellence, which is crucial for our future and in line with our vision too. The aim is to create a unique operating culture that starts with the customer and covers all parts of the company. These steps not only strengthened our position financially but also enabled the management to focus fully on realising our vision of becoming the number one in the Indian offshore drilling industry and compete aggressively on global platform."
"We are bullish about the opportunities available in the local market which will not only sustain our current level of operations but also offer potential for growth. The financial market turmoil, global slowdown, inflationary pressure, high borrowing costs etc has impacted investors' market sentiment. Although high inflation and increased costs have negatively impacted our operating costs, our focus continually remains on improving operational efficiency and improved asset productivity so as to minimise the negative impact of rising costs so as to sustain bottom-line performance of the company," he asserts.

JDIL has been operating rig fleet of four Jack up Rigs, fifteen Directional Drilling equipments and four Mud logging units, and during the year, the company has shown excellent performance in its entire business units - jack up rig services, directional drilling and mud logging services. The company, during the year, has also successfully completed several contracts with ONGC Assam as well as M/s Essar Oil Limited for their CBM Project in Raniganj.
The first Contract for 'Rig Discovery 1' with ONGC got over in the month of September 2011. As the Rig required certain preventive maintenance as per certification requirement as well as some up-gradation to suit the requirements of the new tender conditions of ONGC. In the meantime, the Rig was offered against the new tender of ONGC and was successful in the bidding process.
Jindal talks about JDIL's most important accomplishments during the year, 'Rig Discovery 1' has been re-mobilised for a fresh five year charter contract with ONGC w.e.f. 01.03.2012 and is operating in western offshore fields in the Indian ocean; Rig Virtue 1 is continuing its incident free operation under the existing Contract with ONGC; and an average 90 per cent of operating hours of all their rigs with no lost time."
"Both the company's Cyber based Jack up rigs, Discovery 1 and Virtue 1 along with two more Jackup rigs which are on joint venture agreement with M/s Noble Drilling are operating efficiently with negligible down time in operation" says the MD. "JDIL's rig Discovery 1 has achieved very high commercial speeds in the range of 2194-2304 m/RM to drill higher drift wells of VSEA and C-24 platforms. During the year 2011-2012, Discovery 1 clocked only 0.2 per cent of down time which is half of last year. ONGC planned to drill a complicated well in BF-9 platform, and JDIL's new generation rig Virtue 1 was selected for this critical assignment which is equipped with three mud pumps, top drive with 50,000 lbs-ft torque ratings, etc. The operation team drilled an unconventional 7 inch hole using latest technologies and lowered deepest expandable liners in the history on ONGC using meticulous planning and execution marked by extreme co-ordination between operator (ONGC) and drilling operator (JDIL)."
Jindal remarks, "The Company owns two rigs, and the two are already engaged in charter contract with ONGC on long term contracts. JDIL is meeting all the requirements of ONGC." He adds, "During the year, Noble Rig namely 'Noble George McLeod' completed its contractual tenure with ONGC in the month of December 2011. As Noble decided to take the Rig out for major repairs and certification, the same was exported. Presently, two of the Noble drilling rigs 'Noble Charlie Yester' and 'Noble Edholt' are continuing its operations against the existing Contracts with ONGC and are operating successfully." Commenting on the bidding process of hiring drilling rigs, Jindal says, the bidding process is the same as that of any public sector company, "which has its limitations and is a little stricter to its choice, since they just go by price."

Performance of the Directional Drilling and Mud Logging Divisions have also been commendable in terms of business and revenue growth, says the MD.
"In the Direc tional Drilling Ser vices unit, the company has successfully completed several contracts with ONGC and in the meantime the company has also commenced operations three sets of directional drilling tools in ONGC Ankleshwar and one set of tools for ONGC Ahmedabad for a period of three years against a new tender. The company was pursuing with M/s Essar Oil Limited for fresh business at their ongoing operations at Raniganj. The Company received a Letter of Intent from Essar Oil Limited in the month of May 2012 for one year for four sets of directional drilling tools having an approximate contract value of 32 crores with a provision for future extension."
JDIL's Mud Logging division is also operating with more than 95 percent efficiency without any downtime, registering almost 100 percent incident free operations and successfully completed contract with Naftagaz India Pvt Ltd and continuing its contracts with Oil India Limited.
JDIL also added many new clients Joshi Technologies International Inc and GeoEnpro Petroleum Ltd; the Company obtained a long-term contract from the former during the year and work is likely to commence during the current year; a contract was also awarded by the latter for nine wells in Kharsang, Arunachal Pradesh, which commenced in July 2011.

Jindal sees shortage of qualified personnel in the industry as a challenge for the drilling ser vice providers like JDIL, which he says, "is a bit difficult to tackle with". Cost inflation is another challenge for the company. Jindal is quick to point out, "It demands a large investment and it's a very technical business. For any new entrant, there are challenges."

JDIL has presence in offshore drilling, directional drilling services and mud logging services in the country. In future, the company plans targeting Middle Eastern markets. Currently, the company doesn't have any plans to buy new rigs for deep water, but they are open to opportunities and are in talks with various companies and looking at tenders.
JDIL plans expanding their global footprints and is looking at overseas projects and overseas development fields, "but it's a slow process as we have to get approvals from various oil companies aboard," says Jindal. "For charter hiring of rigs, JDIL is looking at only the Indian markets. If we get attractive rates in India, we will prefer to be here. However, we are looking at adding some more rigs to our fleet, which we will also be engaging in international markets. We are also expanding our business for construction services. JDIL has a project team, which can provide project management service for the company, basically for building of rigs."
To conclude the MD in his words, "Our rigs are fully operational with less non productive time and credited with better commercial speed. In view of the long term prospects and more demanding requirements sought by the oil companies JDIL has taken proactive measures to upgrade its jack up rig fleet . JDIL is building their rigs for the latest technologies in the industry. Our rigs are our technologies. They are going to be as per the industry standards."