Angry contractors hit out at ONGC over EPC jobs

Vol 23, PW 11 (09 Apr 20) Exploration & Production

ONGC is doing all it can to keep offshore EPC work going but is facing a backlash from contractors who accuse it of endangering lives.

ONGC’s Mumbai-based engineering services division issued certificates on March 24 for each offshore EPC project, listing the main contractor and subcontractors, saying their work is essential to continue oil and gas production. These certificates will help contractors get curfew passes from authorities to keep working despite the 21-day lockdown, announced on March 24.

Sources say ONGC issued such letters for the Pipeline Replacement Project-VI (PRP-VI), Cluster 7, Heera Redevelopment and other offshore Mumbai projects. For instance, for PRP-VI the certificate, seen by this report, says: "This is to inform that Valentine Maritime Ltd (Contractor) is engaged by ONGC (from July 19, 2019).

The above contract is related to offshore oil and gas operations of ONGC." Adds the ONGC note: "It is certified that service (sic) being rendered by the contractor are essential for ONGC to continue its oil and gas-related activities at offshore."

ONGC wants authorities to allow the contractor and subcontractors "to continue with the minimum essential activities." Industry sources acknowledge that the maintenance of oil and gas production is essential for the economy as the DGH pointed out in a March 27 notice.

"An EPC project (where production is yet to begin) could wait until the pandemic is under control," adds a subcontractor.