Mercator prepares protest over LEWPP-2 ban

Vol 19, PW 11 (11 Feb 16) Exploration & Production
     

After setting tongues wagging with its unexpected bid Mercator Offshore subsidiary Fortune O&M is now set to create even more commotion in ONGC's estimated $200m Life Extension Well Platforms Project-2 (LEWPP-2) tender.

Industry sources say Mercator is likely to complain to ONGC's Independent External Monitors over its apparent disqualification from the tender. Mercator was not among the companies asked to send in clarifications by January 18.

"We didn't receive queries," says Mercator. "We understand ONGC is trying to disqualify us but don't know why.

We haven't been informed. We believe we're qualified and our bid should be considered." Little-known Fortune was incorporated as recently as August 26, 2015.

Its parent Mercator is converting ONGC's decommissioned jack-up Sagar Samrat into a Mobile Offshore Production Unit and also owns and operates two Floating Production Units off Nigeria. Naturally rivals are pleased at this turn of events.

"I hear Fortune did not submit all the documentation," says one bidder. "Anyway they would have crashed the price to break into ONGC's offshore EPC market but would have done a bad job." Some believe companies desperate to win jobs have slashed rates by 50%.

Bids were received on November 20, 2015 from Fortune with a barge owner; AFCONS with Halani Offshore and Triune; L&T with GOL Offshore; SapuraKencana alone and Swiber also alone.

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