Contractors not interested in 2-year seismic contracts

Vol 8, PW 20 (12 Jan 05) Exploration & Production

Overseas seismic contractors are protesting loudly at ONGCs inflexible business terms.

Last month, Apurva Saha, ONGCs chief of geophysical services, MB Singh, Group General Manager materials management and other officials heard a chorus of discontent from contractors invited to the companys Jeevan Bharati office in Delhi on 17th December for a feedback session on ONGCs proposed two-year 2D and 3D offshore seismic contracts. Veritas, Fugro, Western Geco, CGG, PGS and Grant Geophysical were among those that attended.

Contractors voiced several concerns during the meeting, among them ONGCs standby charges, which they described as neither generous nor realistic. ONGC wants standby days to be worked out in proportion to the total tendered work volume of the two seasons - one day for 20, 000 line-km for 3D and 1500 line-km for 2D.

The maximum payable standby limit for each session will be fixed on the actual awarded volume of work for the season, ONGC said. Vendors also accused ONGC of not taking into consideration unforeseen delays caused by fishing activity.

Complains a contractor: ONGC does not help us when our vessels are forced to sit idle. Similar is ONGCs attitude over clearances from the Indian Navy and other government agencies.

ONGC was told that it would help if it treated contracts as a partnership between client and contractor and not just a one-way street. ONGCs response was typical.

They refused to consider any change, said one contractor. They said contractors should load their bids and quote.

Only on one issue did ONGC show flexibility. Contractors argued that ONGC should apply global standards when calculating infill charges in line with guidelines from the International Association of Geophysical Contractors.

ONGC said it would read the IAGC note and think about it.

LNG Summit