Seismic confusion over 746-sq km 3D for ONGC

Vol 20, PW 2 (06 Oct 16) Exploration & Production

In the next 15 days ONGC is expected to issue a tender to shoot 746-sq km conventional 3D over eastern offshore shallow water block KG-OSN-2009/2 on the east coast.

ONGC announced an oil and gas discovery at this block on May 26 this year (2016) and is expected to begin drilling a second exploration well in October. Still unclear is why it wants to shoot additional 3D now.

Also causing confusion is the disconnect between the scope of work in pre-tender documents and the actual situation underwater. This thorny point was raised at a pre-tender meeting on August 26 attended by Dolphin Geophysical UK, SCF Geo, Polarcus, SeaBird Exploration, CGGVeritas and Ross Geo JSC (SMNG) who all submitted EoIs.

Likely bidders were concerned that the EoI document says seismic must be shot in water depths ranging from 10 to 30 metres using a minimum four-streamer vessel. "But if you look at the co-ordinates given by ONGC (for the survey) the water depth is as low as 6.5 metres," exclaims a source.

"We pointed this out and ONGC said it would not insist on seismic being shot in water depths of 6.5 metres and wants it shot only in water depths between 10 and 30 metres." If this is the case, adds another likely bidder, the actual volume to be shot will come down, impacting bid pricing. Yet ONGC offers no option for bidders to revise prices based on lower volumes.

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