Watch out for Hind in $150m ONGC 3D tender

Vol 15, PW 24 (14 Jun 12) Exploration & Production

Established seismic contractors PGS, CGGVeritas and WesternGeco had better keep an eye on local player Hind Offshore in an estimated $150m tender from ONGC to shoot 3D at 15 exploration blocks across the western and eastern offshore areas of India.

PETROWATCH learns ONGC wants bids submitted by June 19 in a limited tender issued on May 25 to 10 shortlisted companies, including Fugro Geoteam, Polarcus, Reflect Geophysical, SMNG, Dolphin Geophysical and SeaBird Exploration. Here’s the good news: ONGC is likely to select more than one contractor to carry out the assignment, which involves shooting a total 18,125-sq km 3D.

The bad news is that Hind is likely to quote a rock-bottom price. “Hind,” predicts a source, “will spoil the party for others by bidding low.

” He adds that Hind is desperate to win a contract for its only vessel: Geo Hind Sagar. In Hind’s favour is the current location of Geo Hind Sagar, anchored offshore Chennai: unlike rivals it won’t incur mobilisation costs if it wins.

“Hind could also lease one or two more vessels for ONGC,” we hear. Even more worrying is that as an Indian company Hind will benefit from a 10% price preference over foreign rivals under ONGC rules.

But on the bright side for overseas bidders is that there’s no shortage of work: offshore 3D rates are up by 25% over last year as survey work picks up in the North Sea, offshore West Africa and elsewhere. ONGC wants three different kinds of ‘streamer configuration’ in this tender: four streamer vessels with each streamer 6-km long; six streamer vessels with each streamer 8-km long; and four streamer vessels, also with each streamer 8-km long.