ONGC excludes ABG in three-rig tender

Vol 16, PW 21 (16 May 13) Exploration & Production

ONGC has ignored a bid from Mumbai-based ABG Shipyard in a tender to hire three new independent leg 300-feet/350-feet cantilever jack-ups for five years.

ONGC has not formally told ABG if it has been disqualified but has not sent it any queries after bids were submitted on March 26. "Usually ONGC does not inform a disqualified company it is out of the race," says a source.

"It just does not send queries." Three other bidders, Jindal Drilling, Greatship and Hallworthy, were asked queries, which they responded to by May 3.

An industry source says ONGC's tender committee officials are waiting for senior management to approve the budget before opening price bids. Meanwhile, ONGC sent a third round of queries on May 3 in its long-drawn out but separate 10-rig tender.

ABG and Delhi-based Jagson Drilling were expected to send in replies by May 11. ONGC usually waits two weeks after receiving replies before opening price bids.

In this tender too, ABG is under the scanner, as concern mounts at ONGC that ABG has broken the rules by offering under-construction jack-up Hull No Y-308 that it bought from Essar Oilfields. This is significant as Essar is under a two-year ban from all ONGC rig tenders.

“ONGC wants to make sure Essar is not bidding through ABG,” we hear. ONGC has also asked Jagson to submit a feasibility study endorsed by a third party inspection agency certifying all upgrades and equipment aboard Deepsea Treasure (formerly Pride Hawaii).

In a third unrelated tender, ONGC has postponed from May 14 to May 23 the deadline for bids to rehire or replace three Friede & Goldman design rigs.