ONGC calls on attorney general for Jagson advice

Vol 22, PW 8 (07 Feb 19) Exploration & Production

ONGC has approached the Attorney General of India KK Venugopal for legal advice on whether to disqualify Jagson International and its subsidiary Deepsea Blue Global from Category-II of its nine jack-up tender amid speculation it might scrap the tender and start afresh.

ONGC approached the Attorney General's office for advice last month (January) after receiving allegations Jagson and Deepsea violated Section 2 of its Integrity Pact which prevents cartelisation. "If legal experts say these bidders have violated the Integrity Pact we will take action," ONGC director exploration AK Dwivedi, also in charge of Materials Management, told this report on the sidelines of a curtain raiser on January 31 for the forthcoming Petrotech 2019 conference at Shastri Bhawan.

Dwivedi added ONGC is yet to decide whether to scrap the tender and invite fresh offers. Other ONGC sources add that in mid-January the company's legal department chief gave his opinion that "at first sight" it appears the companies violated the Integrity Pact.

"The legal chief sent the file to Materials Management," says a well-placed source. "Materials Management sent the file back to the legal department, asking whether ONGC should get an opinion from external experts."

He adds the legal department again wrote the Integrity Pact has been violated and sent the file to director technical & field services NC Pandey who was not satisfied. "Pandey wrote that ONGC needs the opinion of the Attorney General which is awaited."