Schlumberger challenges ONGC over Halliburton

Vol 20, PW 2 (06 Oct 16) People & Policy

Schlumberger has followed up on its threat to challenge Halliburton's victory in an ONGC tender to provide integrated services to five deepwater rigs for four years.

Everybody will be keenly awaiting a verdict from Independent External Monitors Pratyush Sinha, Vivek Mehrotra and former health secretary Naresh Dayal who meet on October 7. Schlumberger approached the Monitors on September 22 alleging Halliburton had submitted false information to win the tender.

Halliburton bid lowest quoting $224m against Schlumberger's $234m when ONGC opened price bids on September 16. But Schlumberger contends that Halliburton misled ONGC over the availability of an RSS directional drilling tool.

In the tender ONGC asked for a 4 and 3/4-inch tool to drill through a six-inch hole but Halliburton protested at the pre-bid in April that it didn't have such a tool available and could only provide a 5 and 1/4-inch tool. This was recorded in the pre-bid minutes.

Schlumberger asks why ONGC's technical committee qualified Halliburton's bid and gave its go ahead to open price bids? Schlumberger is also upset that a letter it sent pointing out the alleged deviation was ignored by those in charge of the tender, such as director technology and field services Shashi Shanker. An industry source further claims that Halliburton's catalogue detailing directional drilling tools available with the company doesn't mention a 4 and 3/4-inch tool at all.

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