Rig giant Transocean has emerged as the front runner for a prized deep-water drilling contract from India’s state-controlled Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for its operations offshore the country’s east coast.

Two people familiar with the tender process told Upstream that Swizerland-headquartered Transocean is “well-positioned” to land a charter contract from ONGC in the tender’s 3000-metre deep-water drillship category.

ONGC recently opened a commercial offer for the 3000-metre category rig tender, with Transocean emerging as the sole successful bidder, one person said.