DG Shipping grants a three-year extension for the modernization of the oil rig

The Directorate-General for Shipping has granted a three-year relaxation of the timetable for the implementation of the rules set in 2022 for upgrading mobile offshore drilling units or MODUs certified to the 1979 MODU code within two years or by October 2024 to the code granted in 1989.

The Indian Maritime Regulator has now set a timeframe for the modernization process to be completed by October 2027. The easing is the result of strong lobbying by stakeholders, oilfield operators including ONGC – India’s largest oil and gas explorer, and intervention by the Ministry of Petroleum and Gas.

The Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) represents an international standard for MODUs, which fall under three codes (1979, 1989 and 2009) depending on the date of construction.

In an amendment to the relevant ordinance of 20 October 2022, DG Shipping has now specified a concrete time frame for the “gradual implementation” of the modernization, according to the amending ordinance of 21 June.

Upon completion of the modernization phased implementation plan set by DG Shipping, the offshore rigs must have a valid MODU safety certificate in accordance with the 1989 MODU code or higher before 31 October 2027.

The relaxation only applies to self-lifting types of drilling units operating in Indian waters and certified under the MODU Code. The easing applies to existing rigs operating in Indian waters as well as rigs participating in tenders and winning bids by June 30, 2024.

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