CGG is L1 for ONGCآ’s 12,946-sq km 3D shoot

Vol 8, PW 8 (14 Jul 04) Exploration & Production

Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG) of France has emerged lowest bidder for ONGCs seismic tender to shoot a 12,946-sq km 3D survey across the west and east coasts of India.

The financial bids for the 3D tender, which closed on 1st July, were opened at ONGCs western offshore HQ in Mumbai on 7th July. Of the nine companies that attended the 14th June pre-bid only three were shortlisted by ONGC: CGG, Viking (represented by Veritas) and WesternGeco, a Schlumberger subsidiary.

As L1 bidder CGG has quoted $103m, Viking is L2 with a bid amount of $147m and WesternGeco is L3 after submitting a bid of $197m. ONGC favourite LARGE of Russia excused itself from this 3D tender.

LARGE has learnt its lesson, a source close to the company tells PETROWATCH. It seems LARGE does not want to risk another controversy with its low quotes.

The Russians dont want to take a chance in case other companies gang up and deny them boats. Even PGS opted out of both the 3D and 2D category.

Industry experts are not surprised. According to them, Indian waters might not witness the same intense seismic activity as it has till now.

International seismic activity went through a very bad patch last season, an industry source tells PETROWATCH. This was why seismic companies were more than happy to take up work in the Indian subcontinent and deploy their idle ships.

Industry sources tell this report that ONGC and Reliance have benefited from very competitive rates, with companies often ready to quote below cost. The circumstances were such that even companies like CGG took jobs knowing they would make a loss.

Both CGG and PGS have technically finished their respective 3D survey contracts won last year from ONGC and have moved their vessels to other locations.