ONGC asks court to allow LoAs for 40,835-lkm

Vol 19, PW 16 (21 Apr 16) People & Policy

ONGC has asked the Delhi High Court for permission to award LoAs in a tender to shoot 40,835-lkm 2D across 11 sectors across India despite objections from contractor Quippo over its disqualification.

ONGC's move through an affidavit filed on April 18 came 10 days after after oil ministry additional secretary UP Singh wrote to ONGC on April 8 confirming that the approximate $300m cost of the project would be reimbursed by the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) - a decision that clears the way for LoAs to Alpha Geo, Advent Oilfield and Sibneft. Sharp queries over whether ONGC would be reimbursed were high on the agenda of an Executive Purchase Committee meeting held in February to discuss the award of LoAs, attended by ONGC director finance AK Srinivasan and chairman DK Sarraf.

Only the court battle with Quippo is outstanding. On March 1, the court issued an order preventing ONGC from issuing LoAs until it delivers a ruling.

In its April 18 affidavit ONGC stressed that the project is important for the nation's energy security. In court ONGC said it disqualified Quippo because it was not a 100% subsidiary of its parent SREI Infrastructure.

But Quippo told the court on March 14 that it has bought 0.1% shares in the company from former CEO Sandeep Bedi making it a 100% SREI subsidiary.