ONGC prepares $200m 'broadband' 3D tender

Vol 16, PW 25 (11 Jul 13) Exploration & Production

ONGC will issue its first ever ‘broadband’ offshore 3D seismic tender by the end of this month (July).

Valued at approximately $200m, an industry source tells us ONGC wants to shoot 16,000-sq km 3D, making this the largest such assignment in the world for this forthcoming season. "This is ONGC's first time shooting broadband 3D," says a likely bidder.

"Most global operators moved to this technology five years ago. ONGC is late but better late than never!" Broadband 3D renders clearer images and ONGC wants 12,000-sq km from NELP-IX blocks off both western and eastern offshore India and another 4000-sq km shot over acreage from earlier NELP rounds, relinquished by operators and now with the DGH.

When contacted, an ONGC source declined to reveal details. "Why don't you wait for the tender" he said.

An observer explains why ONGC wants to also shoot 3D over DGH acreage that lies between its own blocks. "If the DGH acreage is excluded,” we are told.

“ONGC will be forced to shoot its own 3D in patches and this becomes uneconomical.” ONGC wants to shoot broadband 3D using vessels with at least 12 or 14 streamers.

Data acquired over the DGH acreage will be handed over free of charge to the DGH for use in future NELP rounds. Given the size and complexity of the assignment, the selected contractor will have to deploy two vessels for two seasons.

ONGC wants to award the contract(s) by October so data acquisition can begin in January 2014.