PetroVietnam wants to bypass Swiber to ONGC

Vol 20, PW 1 (22 Sep 16) People & Policy

PetroVietnam wants to cut out financially-stricken Swiber and deal directly with ONGC for the completion of five remaining platforms under the $308m Daman field development project.

PETROWATCH learns PetroVietnam lobbied Indian authorities during Narendra Modi's visit to Vietnam on September 3 and 4 seeking direct access to ONGC. "PetroVietnam told Indian officials it could complete the platforms and would like to be paid directly by ONGC instead of through Swiber," says a source.

"With creditors and vendors hounding Swiber, PetroVietnam is unsure it will get its money." ONGC sources however doubt the idea can work as dealing with Swiber's subcontractors will be cumbersome. PetroVietnam for instance is involved only with assembling the five platforms and its share of the overall project value is around 25%.

Swiber is the one supplying critical designs, pipes, and equipment. Further the piles and conductors for the platforms are manufactured by Indonesia's PT Gunanusa which suspended work in July, claiming $6m from Swiber.

"Pipe suppliers are yet to be paid by Swiber," says ONGC. Despite its problems ONGC is thinking of retaining Swiber to manufacture the platforms and of issuing a fresh tender to transport and install them to save costs.

Swiber subcontracted the transportation and installation job to its sister companies at prices now much higher, which is why ONGC wants to re-tender.