United Arab Emirates-based rig owner Shelf Drilling has landed an offshore jack-up charter deal from India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

The three-year award will see the jack-up JT Angel work for the state-controlled oil and gas giant in the Mumbai High area offshore India's west coast, Shelf said on Friday.

Operations are set to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, the Oslo-listed rig owner added.

ONGC deploys an expansive offshore rig fleet of more than 30 drilling units, the majority of which are chartered with leading rig operators.

However, the Indian giant is increasingly looking at acquiring new generation offshore rigs, marking a shift from its earlier strategy that was overwhelmingly in favour of charter contracts.

ONGC has recently kick-started a process to acquire new jack-up rigs, in addition to its charter requirements, Upstream understands from rig market sources with knowledge of the company's plans.

The Indian giant is believed to have launched a key tender last year for chartering two offshore drilling rigs meant off the country’s west and east coasts, Upstream had earlier reported.

ONGC is pressing ahead with key exploration and development programmes despite the coronavirus outbreak and current industry headwinds.