Boston beats E&Y for ONGC consultant contract

Vol 20, PW 12 (09 Mar 17) Exploration & Production

Boston Consulting Group looks set to beat lowest bidder Ernst & Young and win ONGC's oddly-termed Owner's Management Consultant contract for the $5.07bn KG-DWN-98/2 development.

Expect BCG, which has 85 offices in 48 countries and more than 12,000 employees, to receive the LoA this month (March). At first sight BCG's victory appears strange - favourite Ernst & Young bid lowest when price bids were opened earlier this year.

But a source explains ONGC is using the Quality and Cost Based Selection method which lays more than usual emphasis on technical competence and does not simply select whoever bids lowest - typically how ONGC goes about choosing its service providers. ONGC has allocated 80% of the marks for the consultant's technical qualifications and ability followed by 20% for the price quoted.

BCG scored the highest marks, McKinsey came second and Ernst & Young third. A source tells us Ernst & Young was unlucky when an ONGC panel of five executive directors held interviews mid-February with four experts from each company.

"Two E&Y experts did not show up," we hear. "One could not arrive in time from New Zealand and the other was hospitalised." ONGC wanted two experts (a global project management expert and a project lead) in each four-person team sent by bidders to take responsibility for monitoring and reporting on the 98/2 development if awarded the contract.