Why most ROV providers avoid ONGC tenders

Vol 8, PW 11 (25 Aug 04) Exploration & Production

It wont take much investigation to find out why ONGCs ROV tenders have attracted such a poor response.

The answer is there for all to see: corruption. A few bold ROV service providers plainly mentioned this in their response to Raturis letter.

By ONGCs own admission, only two ROV service providers responded to its most recent tenders: Oceaneering and Dolphin Offshore. ROV service providers tell PETROWATCH that bids by these two companies actually amount to a bid by one because of the close relationship between them.

It is misleading to say there are two bids, an industry source tells us. In reality theres just one bid.

During the past 10 years either one of these companies has been getting the ROV contract. Oceaneering used to get the contract and then Dolphin Offshore (unrelated to Norways Dolphin Drilling) signed an agreement with it.

One of them always receives a Letter of Intent from ONGC. The whole (ROV) tender process is a sham, he adds.

These two companies bid just to keep up the faأ§ade of competition. Undoubtedly, co-operation from within ONGC has kept the game going till now.

Most ROV service providers got wise to this arrangement and stopped sending in bids, seeing it as a sheer waste of time. Even if Dolphin gets the contract it brings in an Oceaneering ROV.

Why should anybody else even bother to bid Service providers accuse ONGC of tailoring its ROV technical specifications to suit Oceaneerings vessels. The specifications are designed for Oceaneerings ROVs.

So naturally everybody else will get rejected, we are told. There are other service providers who can provide ONGC with modern as well as quality ROV services at competitive prices in deep water or normal drilling or salvage or any other special purpose offshore activities, says a service provider.

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