Media reports indicate that ONGC is in the process of giving a contract to Cochin Shipyard for manufacturing a seismic ship.
A seismic vessel carries equipment that sends down sound waves to the sea-bed and capture their reflections.
Cables (called ‘streamers’) several kilometre long are laid is the water and an airgun is fired from the vessel. ‘Hydrophones’ on the cables, which lie at regular intervals, collect the sound reflections.
Geologists use the data so generated to ‘map’ what lies beneath and find out areas that are most likely to hold oil and gas.
Reports indicate that construction of such a ship may cost at least $150 million, depending on the choice of equipment.
Once the contract is given, Cochin Shipyard would be asked to deliver the vessel in 34 months. For about a decade, ONGC has been planning to acquire its own seismic ship. It toyed with the idea of giving the contract to several shipyards, including one in Russia and another in Singapore, apart from Bharti Shipyard.
ONGC wants to have its own seismic ship as it would help the company save on the costs of hiring similar vessels.