Schlumberger and Baker share ONGC vessel jobs

Vol 17, PW 15 (13 Mar 14) Exploration & Production

After more than two years of acrimony ONGC is about to settle a long-running feud between Schlumberger and rival Baker Hughes by hiring a well-stimulation vessel from each.

By end-March Schlumberger expects confirmation from ONGC of a three-year contract for supply vessel Greatship Ramya (yet-to-be-converted) while Baker-affiliate Marine Stimulation Services (India) Pvt. Ltd can expect a three-year extension for Vestfonn, a custom-built well stimulation vessel working for ONGC on the west coast since August 2010 under a contract ending in May after a 291-day extension issued on July 22 last year.

ONGC’s surprise move came during a meeting of its Executive Purchase Committee on March 10 – the first presided over by new chairman DK Sarraf. “ONGC needs two stimulation vessels immediately,” says a source, commending Sarraf’s decisive action.

“They did well to hire both.” Such magnanimity wasn’t always evident.

In August last year furious Baker forced ONGC to abort an imminent award to Schlumberger by complaining to ONGC’s Independent External Monitors about its disqualification from the October 2011 tender to replace or re-hire Vestfonn. Meanwhile Greatship Ramya owned by a Singapore subsidiary of Mumbai-based Greatship, and leased to Schlumberger for the ONGC contract, is berthed at Kakinada “between contracts” ready to sail to a Middle East shipyard to be fitted out with well stimulation equipment before sailing back to India for ONGC within 300 days of the award date.

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