Another extension for ONGCآ’s Mumbai rig tender

Vol 8, PW 22 (09 Feb 05) Exploration & Production

ONGC has extended by three weeks to 21st February the techno-commercial bid deadline for its long-pending tender for a jack-up rig to drill in the Mumbai offshore.

The previous deadline of 31st January was itself an extension of three previous deadlines: 17th November, 17th December and 17th January. PETROWATCH learns that behind this series of extensions to an otherwise ordinary jack-up rig tender is ONGC Mumbai regions wish to play safe over the bid from Saipem.

The Mumbai region is asking top management for a clear direction on whether Saipem should be allowed to participate in the tender, reveals a source. The executive purchase committee (of ONGC) has yet to clarify this matter.

We understand ONGCs Mumbai region does not want to be caught by surprise by top management given the companys bad experience with Saipem rig Perro Negro 3. Saipem is unfazed by all this fuss.

Weve no issues with ONGC, reveals a Saipem source. They sent us a note extending the tender.

No reasons were given. We take it as it is.

Another issue behind the series of postponements concerns rig inspections by the American Bureau of Shipping. This issue has now been sorted out, said another source.

ONGC has banned ABS as a third party rig inspection agency but it will accept rigs with ABS classification. The earlier postponement was to clarify whether rigs with ABS classification were acceptable.

ONGC is looking for a Freddy Goldman type jack-up rig. The selected rig will drill in the Mumbai High South, in a Petroleum Exploration Licence/Mining Lease area.

The earlier rig working on this location was JT Angel a Freddy Goldman make rig. Among those who have bought tender documents are Aban Loyd Chiles, Great Eastern, Transocean, Saipem, Dolphin Drilling and Jindal Drilling.

Current rates for rigs in this category are in excess of $65,000 a day.