Anger as ONGC tailors seismic tender for CGG

Vol 19, PW 20 (16 Jun 16) Exploration & Production

Widespread suspicion that ONGC wants to hand a 4341-sq km broadband 3D job to CGGVeritas on a plate have intensified after the tender was issued on May 24.

One source alleges the technical qualification criteria leave no doubt that ONGC has already decided it wants CGGVeritas and its proprietary BroadSource technology. Clause 1.1 a) of the pre-qualification criteria says: "Bidder should have minimum experience carrying out 5000-sq km 3D acquisition and processing and should have also carried out at least one broadband acquisition and processing project (by deploying appropriate broadband data acquisition technology capable of removing notches due to receiver and source ghost by deploying appropriate streamer configuration and broadband source), and a complimentary (sic) processing technique." An aggrieved contractor insists the reference to 'broadband source' is a thinly veiled attempt to favour CGG's BroadSource technology.

"Nobody will challenge ONGC," says a source, "because today ONGC is the only source of (upstream) business in India." Other companies to show interest in this tender are WesternGeco, PGS, Sovcomflot, Dolphin Geophysical, Polarcus and China Oilfield Services. ONGC wants the successful bidder(s) to use a minimum 6-streamer vessel and bids must be submitted by June 30.

ONGC has also made it clear the seismic survey vessel(s) should not be more than 24 years old by the bid submission date. Broadband 3D removes shadows or 'ghosts' from the source resulting in higher resolution images.