In panic ONGC wants 98/2 'Owner's' consultant

Vol 20, PW 4 (03 Nov 16) People & Policy

ONGC is on the look-out for a management consultant to oversee other consultants in a sign of creeping panic as it struggles to meet fast-approaching project timelines at the multi-billion-dollar KG-DWN-98/2 development.

By October 28, ONGC had pre-qualified eight firms in the hunt to find an honest broker to make sure contractors and consultants it plans to hire fall in line: Boston Consulting Group; McKinsey; Ernst & Young; Turner & Townsend with PWC; GMC with KPMG and D'Appolonia of Italy. In a pre-qualification EoI notice released on October 18, ONGC says it wants more companies to apply for the position that carries the intriguing designation Owner's Management Consultant as opposed to Project Management Consultant.

"By 'Owner' we mean ONGC," an ONGC official in Kakinada tells this report. "The PMC will be hired separately.

This consultant's job will be to work closely with ONGC management and with the PMC." Onlookers have a less charitable explanation. "ONGC are amateurs when it comes to projects the size of 98/2," we hear.

"They've managed smaller projects by salami-slicing the contracts but this one is in a different order of magnitude altogether." He adds: "ONGC recognises it needs someone to protect it against the 'big boys'. Any (EPC) contractor that ONGC engages will naturally want to maximise its profit." ONGC is under strict oil ministry instructions to begin first 98/2 gas production by June 2019 and first oil production by March 2020.