TL and NPCC anger over Vashishta exclusion

Vol 19, PW 3 (08 Oct 15) Exploration & Production

Tense times for bidders in an estimated $100m tender to install subsea facilities at ONGC's eastern offshore Vashishta and S1 fields.

Whether the tender goes ahead or aborted is in the hands of a group of Independent External Monitors who received complaints from TL Offshore of Malaysia and NPCC of Abu Dhabi over their disqualification by ONGC which argues neither meets its technical criteria. Only Subsea 7, Technip, and McDermott are left in the race.

ONGC wanted to open price bids on September 28 but couldn't because the same day TL formally complained to the IEMs, a panel of retired bureaucrats that oversees ONGC tender complaints. They heard TL and ONGC’s arguments on October 1 in Delhi.

A TL source confirms it appealed to the Monitors but declined to offer more details. ONGC refused to comment but industry sources tell us TL was disqualified because ONGC was unhappy with the pipe-laying barge it offered.

“Everyone expected NPCC’s disqualification,” adds a source. “NPCC offered a new vessel with no experience of this kind of work.

” NPCC complained to the Monitors on September 30 who heard the case on October 5. Why didn’t ONGC open price bids on September 26 - the same day it disqualified NPCC and TL? “By delaying it two days," we hear, "ONGC gave TL and NPCC time to appeal.