Asian Oilfield slams seismic award to Alpha Geo

Vol 18, PW 10 (15 Jan 15) Exploration & Production

Oil India and Dart Energy face allegations of impropriety in a tender to shoot 84-lkm high resolution 2D at their 113-sq km CBM-IV block AS-CBM-2008/IV in Upper Assam.

Asian Oilfield, which was the original ‘L1’ or first-ranked bidder, has levelled serious charges against Oil India and Dart after losing out on the seismic contract to ‘L2’ or second-ranked bidder Alpha Geo. Angry Asian Oilfield has written to the DGH and senior Oil India management complaining of bias, discrimination and nepotism.

Asian Oilfield only learned it lost out after Alpha Geo announced to the Bombay Stock Exchange on January 5 that it had won the Rs5.9cr ($928,000) contract. When operator Dart opened price bids in early December, Asian Oilfield bid lowest quoting Rs7.3cr ($1.2m).

Alpha Geo came second followed by IndianOiltanking quoting Rs9cr ($1.4m). On December 8, Asian Oilfield was told it was L1.

But Oil India then changed the scope of work to 80-lkm from 100-lkm. Asian revised its rate down and submitted a proposal for Rs6cr ($966,000) on December 11 to match Oil India’s budgeted expenditure of $1m.

But on December 23 Asian was shocked to learn it was now L2 and Alpha Geo was L1. “This is strange,” says a perplexed Asian Oilfield source.

“How can they negotiate with ‘L2’ (Alpha Geo) when negotiations with ‘L1’ (Asian Oilfield) have been conducted with an agreement to work for 80-lkm?”