Oil India aeromagnetic tender fails to convince

Vol 17, PW 5 (03 Oct 13) Exploration & Production

Oil India’s tender to acquire aeromagnetic data in Rajasthan is a sham and half-hearted attempt to be seen to be complying with the PSC process, according to contractors.

Oil India invited EoIs on September 13 to shoot, process and interpret aeromagnetic data over 1517-sq km at Rajasthan onland block RJ-ONN-2005/2 near India's border with Pakistan. France's CGG, Canadian companies McPhar International and Sander Geophysics, plus Australia's UTS Geophysics are expected to respond by the October 8 deadline.

But contractors are wary as this is the second time Oil India is inviting EoIs for the same project. In 2012 it invited Fugro Airborne, McPhar and UTS to participate and all three submitted bids on August 14 the same year.

But Oil India did not award the job to anyone. "I don't think Oil India is serious about acquiring the data this time either," says a contractor, who is planning nevertheless to submit an EoI.

"They could be fooling us." Contractors believe Oil India will once again invite bids from pre-qualified companies but won't award the contract.

"Oil India committed an aeromagnetic survey in its work programme," we hear. "So it has to show it is following the PSC process and trying to fulfil the commitment by inviting bids twice.

" When contacted, a senior Oil India source denies this tender is a sham, saying none of the earlier bids were technically eligible so no award was made. "That's why,” he says, “we have to start again.

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