Watch out for CGG bid in 3D tender from ONGC

Vol 16, PW 4 (06 Sep 12) Exploration & Production

Paris-headquartered CGGVeritas is expected to try again to win an ONGC tender to shoot high-resolution 3D over the ageing Mumbai High and Heera fields.

ONGC scrapped its last tender issued in July 2011 because CGG was the sole bidder, quoting $140m, after inexperienced Rajasthan Khanij & Ispat Udyog was disqualified for submitting an incomplete bid, quoting $130m. ONGC re-issued the tender on August 21 asking for bids to shoot 1600-sq km 3D at the Mumbai High and 375-sq km 3D at the Heera field to re-assess reserves.

“This is a big tender worth nearly $190m (Rs900cr),” says an industry source. “It will take two seasons to complete.

” Besides CGG, Fugro, Global Geophysical, Geokinetics and WesternGeco are also likely to bid. “ONGC has relaxed tender terms,” we hear.

In the last tender, it wanted bidders to use only OBC (Ocean Bottom Cable) technology. This time, ONGC is allowing contractors to shoot 3D using either OBC or Ocean Bottom Nodes (OBN) to encourage more bids.

OBC consists of placing a cable with sensors or geophones on the seabed, tied to a seismic vessel with cables. In OBN, nodes or sensors are placed on the seabed without cables.

Either way, ONGC wants bidders to use 4C (four component) technology for the geophones to improve 3D quality. “Normally, geophones have only one component,” explains an expert.

“In 4C, geophones have four components to record four different sounds: a ‘p’ sound, two ‘s’ sounds and one ‘hydro’ (water) sound.” With 4C, it is easier to isolate the water sound.

ONGC will sell tender documents till September 11, hold a pre-bid on September 26, and open price bids on October 29.

LNG Summit