India’s state-controlled Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has started the chase to charter up to 12 jack-up rigs across multiple categories, as it moves to secure long-term drilling capacity amid a tightening offshore rig market.

At least three people familiar with the development told Upstream that ONGC recently hit the market with a 12 jack-up rig tender, touted to be its largest offshore rig hiring exercise in recent years.

Technical and commercial offers are expected to be submitted next month, with ONGC expected to finalise its preferred rig contractors during the fourth quarter, one person said.