ONGC invites Transocean and Atwood for tender

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

After four months of indecision ONGC has decided to re-invite a tender for a jack-up rig to drill in the West Bengal offshore.

PETROWATCH learns ONGCs executive purchase committee decided on 26th June that the re-invited tender will be limited to Transocean and Atwood Oceanics, the two bidders who sent in offers during the preceding global tender in October 2003 for a 250-feet water depth, harsh environment slot/cantilever jack-up rig for the West Bengal offshore. So far ONGC has issued two unsuccessful global tenders for this job.

The first in July 2002 saw no response, compelling ONGC to change the technical specifications of the rig. The second in October 2003 tender saw Transocean offer four rigs and Atwood Oceanics offer two rigs.

Both offers were received by the tender deadline but the techno-commercial bids were not opened as scheduled in December 2003 because of ONGC delay and were finally opened in February 2004. Transocean offered CE Thornton, FG McClintock, Nordic Explorer and Shelf Explorer.

Atwood offered Atwood Beacon and Vicksburg. Three of the six rigs are already in India: CE Thornton and FG McClintock (Mumbai High) and Nordic Explorer (Reliance eastern offshore).

Yet neither offer was technically or commercially acceptable. Out of the Transocean rigs none, except Nordic Explorer, had been certified to be environmentally suitable for West Bengal offshore drilling.

None of the Transocean rigs had a residual life certificate from a third party inspector or a list of modifications necessary for the rig and equipment. Commercially too, ONGC found the Transocean offer unacceptable because only one bid bond had been given for four rigs.

Atwoods offer was technically unacceptable because of major shortcomings in drill equipment and accessories. Atwood also gave only one bid bond for its two rigs, making the offer commercially unacceptable.