Soon ONGC will have its very own seismic boat

Vol 16, PW 22 (30 May 13) Exploration & Production

By July this year ONGC will appoint state-owned Cochin Shipyard to build a 12-streamer seismic vessel - a project it has been contemplating for nine years.

ONGC and Cochin Shipyard are finalising the techno-specifications of the vessel, which will be built for $150m and commissioned in three years. ONGC wants construction to begin after this monsoon season ends or in October.

Originally shortlisted were Cochin and Goa Shipyard but ONGC plumped only for a single price bid from Cochin. “ONGC decided Cochin was technically better and decided to go ahead as it is a government company," confirms a source.

“Cochin has done lots of work for the Indian Navy.” ONGC will hire Cochin under the Open Book Estimate method, where a contractor charges a margin over actual costs.

ONGC wants the vessel specs to be similar to the technically advanced 12-streamer seismic vessel BGP Prospector, built at Nassau port in the Bahamas in 2011 for Chinese company BGP. As with BGP Prospector, ONGC and Cochin may hire London-based Rolls-Royce to design and supply seismic equipment, including power and propulsion systems and automated handling systems.

The vessel is expected to be 100 metres long and 24 metres wide, with a 6.4-metre draft and a 23-metre helideck. ONGC will use the vessel to carry out high-end 3D, 4D and wide azimuth marine seismic surveys.

In the next three years ONGC wants to phase out its existing 2D, dual-source, two-streamer, 4800-bhp vessel Sagar Sandhani, built in 1986.