Uncertainty surrounds the future of LEWPP-2

Vol 19, PW 18 (19 May 16) Exploration & Production

Like a domino effect, uncertainty over Swiber's technical and commercial qualifications is not just hitting ONGC's LEWPP-2 and Neelam redevelopment tenders but also its LEWPP-1 and LEWPP-3 projects.

ONGC on May 10 asked bidders for the Life Extension of Well Platforms Project-2 (LEWPP-2) to extend the validity of their bids and bid bonds from May 15 till May 31. Some say this is because Swiber has complained to ONGC's Independent External Monitors (IEMs) against its disqualification on technical grounds but this could not be confirmed.

Both ONGC and Swiber declined to comment. Others say ONGC asked for the extension so it has more time to decide on Swiber's disqualification on commercial grounds in the unrelated offshore Mumbai Neelam field redevelopment tender.

It would look strange if ONGC disqualified Swiber on commercial grounds in one tender and yet accepted its bid in another. "ONGC received a report from the IEMs on April 27," says a source.

"The next day letters were sent out (to Neelam bidders) asking them to extend bids and bid bonds (till May 31)." Meanwhile AFCONS has begun LEWPP-1 work but LEWPP-2 award delay will affect it as some LEWPP-1 jackets to be strengthened will have their pipelines modified in LEWPP-2. "LEWPP-2 delay means those jackets cannot be back in action," explains a source.

LNG Summit