Boston Consulting prepares Vashishta brief

Vol 17, PW 12 (30 Jan 14) Exploration & Production

ONGC is planning three tenders for drilling services and the installation of offshore facilities at its delayed Vashishta deepwater gas project on India’s east coast.

“All three tenders will be issued by March 31,” confirms an ONGC source. But first, he adds, ONGC will issue a tender in mid-February to buy four Christmas trees with control systems for $25m.

FMC Technologies, Aker, GE Vetco and Cameron International are all likely to bid. An earlier incarnation of this tender in 2010 collapsed when ONGC changed technical specs midway and companies demanded changes to the commercial terms.

This month (January) ONGC hired Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to study the proposed commercial changes and a report is expected shortly. “As soon as we get BCG’s report we'll forward it to the Executive Purchase Committee for a decision,” says ONGC.

“The tender will be floated without delay.” ONGC will then float a tender to install the Christmas trees and control systems in addition to laying subsea pipelines from the two Vashishta fields to shore in water depths of 400 to 700 metres.

Again an earlier tender in August 2012 flopped after ONGC changed technical specs and no firm met the company’s tight ten-month deadline for subsea completion. ONGC's third tender will be to drill and complete two Vashishta development wells.

ONGC concedes it is unlikely to meet its April 2015 deadline for gas production. “Most likely it will be April 2016,” we hear.

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