WesternGeco wins major 3D contract from Reliance

Vol 16, PW 6 (04 Oct 12) Exploration & Production

Schlumberger subsidiary WesternGeco has won a keenly fought assignment from Reliance.

Last month (September) Reliance issued a LoA to WesternGeco to shoot 1650-sq km 3D at 8600-sq km Cauvery-Palar basin NELP-III block CY-PR-DWN-2001/3, where it partners BP. Western beat CGGVeritas, PGS, Fugro and Polarcus to win this prestigious contract, which some say is worth $19m, others say it is worth $22m.

Western declines to confirm either number, citing confidentiality. Survey vessel Western Trident, built in 1999 and moored offshore Kirkenes in Norway, is believed to be Western’s choice for the assignment.

“There are lots of rumours about the vessel,” says a WesternGeco source. “But Western hasn’t yet decided which boat to use.

” Reliance wants work completed by March 2013. “If Western deploys 10 or 12 streamers it can shoot 1650-sq km in 45 or maximum 60 days,” says a source.

Only official clearances will take time. “Approvals from the defence, home and other ministries to allow the vessel into Indian waters could take at least 45 days,” adds a source.

“They’re lucky to have the LoA so well in advance. If they can get the paperwork done they could mobilise by mid-November.

” Some rivals are unhappy at the way Reliance awarded the contract. “Western was desperate to win this contract,” says a source.

“They have not had much work in India over the past five years; Reliance took full advantage of this. Another bidder agrees: “Reliance made us wait three months and made us submit a revised bid also but we still don’t even know if Western is the lowest bidder.

At least they should tell us who bid how much so we know the process was fair.”

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