ONGC offshore platform tender also delayed

Vol 16, PW 3 (23 Aug 12) Exploration & Production

Uncertainty over service tax (see above) is also delaying an ONGC platform tender for its C-Series marginal fields offshore Mumbai.

Bids were due in on August 16. However, ONGC informed all likely bidders on August 14 that it was extending the deadline to August 27.

ONGC needs the finance ministry to explain the implications of a universal 12% service tax regime, which kicked in on July 1. Likely bidders affected include Technip; Larsen & Toubro; Leighton Welspun; Nippon Steel; a consortium of ABG Shipyard and Vietsovpetro; SEW; Shriram EPC; Essar Offshore; Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering; and Aquaterra Energy.

All these companies attended ONGC’s pre-bid held in Mumbai on May 23. Once ONGC gets a reply from the finance ministry, it will pas on the information to companies who can then build it into their price bids.

ONGC wants four well-head platforms installed under the contract: one at location B-173-A-B in water depths of 55 metres; another at C-23 in water depths of 20 metres; a third at C-26 in water depths of 25 metres; and the final platform is needed at B-12-1 in water depths of 27 metres. ONGC sold tender documents for its C-Series platforms tender from April 13 to May 4.

Companies who bought documents but stayed away from the pre-bid include J. Ray McDermott, NPCC, AFCONS, Swiber, Sairama, Sadhbhavana Engineering, Marg Infrastructure, Great Offshore and Nauvata.

Separately, India’s opposition BJP party has vociferously challenged the Congress Party-led government’s move to tax all services except for 38 exempt sectors like funeral businesses and school or university courses. The country’s main opposition party BJP argues service tax will stifle many businesses, given runaway inflation.