All eyes on new Cluster-3 development at 98/2

Vol 24, PW 18 (29 Jul 21) Exploration & Production

After Cluster 2, ONGC is shifting its focus to developing gas discoveries at its ultra-deepwater Cluster 3 area at KG-DWN-98/2.

On July 23 (2021), ONGC received comments from several of 16 companies that took part in an online EoI meeting on July 9 (2021) to hire a consultant for a pre-FEED to develop Cluster 3 in water depths of 2500-2850 metres. Among those at the meeting were UK-based companies Wood Group, PDi, Consub, Z-Subsea, and Bayphase; Malaysia's Intecsea; Norway's Aker Solutions; Italy's RINA; France's Beicip-Franlab; Australia's Worley and the Australian arm of Genesis Oil & Gas; USA-based KBR, Hyderabad-based Sayantrik Engineer; Coimbatore-based Kavin Engineering; Mumbai-based SK Oilfield Services, and Chennai-based Results Engineering.

ONGC will only award this assignment to Indian consultants under present rules to boost local businesses. Some questioned this during the July 9 video conference, but ONGC replied it has no choice but to follow the government's policy.

To be eligible, a foreign company must incorporate a local office that carries out a minimum of 20% of the assignment. Others asked if ONGC would consider consortia bids? By themselves, many Indian subsidiaries of even foreign consultants don't have domain expertise in all areas needed by ONGC for this job, says a source.

"They will have to draw on the experience of their foreign parents," he adds. "Actual work will be done by the foreign parent while, on paper, the company which has the contract will be a local company with no relevant experience."

The solution is to allow consultants to set up consortia, we hear. A consortium of smaller companies with relevant skills can offer a cheaper rate to ONGC than established prominent consultants.

ONGC agreed to review suggestions to delete well engineering and well completion services from the scope of the proposed pre-FEED as both activities demand specialised consultants. ONGC will now draw up pre-qualification criteria to include in the following and final EoI notice and evaluate and short-list companies who respond to that notice for the formal tender.