L&T or Saipem for Ratna and Bassein projects

Vol 21, PW 3 (02 Nov 17) Exploration & Production

Larsen & Toubro is believed to have the edge in two ONGC tenders to set up platforms and lay pipelines off Mumbai but many fear Saipem could spring a surprise with an aggressive quote.

Bids for the estimated $211m five-wellhead platform and pipelines project at the Bassein field were submitted on October 30 by Saipem, NPCC, L&T and Sapura Energy; these four companies plus Turkey's iLk Construction and Indonesia's PT Gunanusa also bid for the estimated $330m Ratna and R-Series field project to revive the R-12A or Ratna platform, install five wellhead platforms and lay subsea pipelines and cables. As an Indian company, L&T benefits a 10% price preference over foreign rivals and also has in-house engineering capability and a manufacturing yard as required.

"But if the lowest foreign bidder's price is at least 11% lower than L&T's quote it will win," a source reminds us, "as L&T will not then get the 10% price preference." So for Ratna and R-Series the winning bid could be $297m or lower. Others say in this depressed market where prices are already low only a company determined to win at any cost will bid even lower.

"Saipem could do this as it did not get anything in Reliance's (eastern offshore deepwater KG-DWN-98/3) tenders and ONGC's 98/2 deepwater projects are taking time," says a source. Some say Saipem is keen to focus on shallow water EPC projects in India.

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