Suspicious ONGC compressor job at Geleki

Vol 19, PW 11 (11 Feb 16) Midstream & Downstream

Many are scratching their heads over the unusual level of detail in an ONGC tender to install gas compressors and lay pipelines at the Geleki field in Assam.

Some are even alleging it is meant to favour a specific bidder. A source who believes this contract is worth Rs200cr ($29.5m) wonders why ONGC has laid down such detailed qualification criteria that only a few can meet? ONGC wants bidders with experience of installing gas compressors adding up to a capacity of at least 970,000 cm/d in the last 10 years.

At least one compressor should have been installed by the bidder with a minimum 350,000 cm/d capacity and a “discharge pressure rating of 35-kg/sq-cm.” More, potential bidders should also have laid a minimum 4-inch diameter, 50-km oil and gas pipeline under a single contract.

“I’ve never seen an ONGC (compressors) tender with such precise qualification criteria,” says a source. “Usually such ONGC tenders lay out the scope of work and say bidders should have done similar work.

Putting ‘pressure rating’ under the qualification criteria is an indication the tender is for a select few.” Among the likely bidders are Kalpataru Power Transmission, KazStroyService and Indian Oiltanking.

Other companies like Essar, Punj Lloyd, Technip, Larsen & Toubro and Toyo Engineering are likely to stay away because the project is in Assam, known for logistical challenges and security threats from militant groups.