Schlumberger drops Halliburton protest

Vol 20, PW 3 (20 Oct 16) News in Brief

After a stern warning from the oil ministry Schlumberger has quietly dropped its protest against ONGC's contentious award of a $224m integrated services contract for five deepwater rigs to rival Halliburton.

"Nowhere in the world has Schlumberger filed a case against a client," reports an industry source. "There's little chance its management would change that policy in India." Schlumberger, he adds, did not want to risk angering ONGC, by far its single biggest Indian customer, and duly accepted the ministry's oral diktat by formally withdrawing its complaint to ONGC independent external monitors Pratyush Sinha, Vivek Mehrotra and Naresh Dayal.

In its original challenge Schlumberger alleged that Halliburton submitted false information to win the contract. ONGC meanwhile formally awarded the contract to Halliburton on October 6, just a day before the monitors were scheduled to hear Schlumberger's complaint on October 7.

With the contract sealed Halliburton will now provide marine logistics, helicopters, logging, perforation and other services for five rigs hired for four years to drill 35 development wells at KG-DWN-98/2. Why the ministry was so keen that Halliburton should get the contract is anybody's guess (?)

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