ONGC planning fresh tender for offshore helicopters

Vol 7, PW 19 (03 Dec 03) Exploration & Production

ONGC wants to scrap its ongoing tender for the charter hire of helicopter services and issue a fresh one because of several deviations and violations of laid-down procedures by bidders.

In the new tender, ONGC will look for a single company that provides an all-inclusive package for helicopter services. On 18th November, ONGC chairman Subir Raha overruled director offshore VK Sharmas recommendation not to cancel the tender and decided that a, fresh tender be invited on contract of affreightment basis.

Under new terms, ONGC will only indicate to bidders, the number of passengers to be carried from the onshore helibase to the offshore platforms and back plus the number of inter-platform and inter-rig sorties required per day on an average plus or minus flexibility. Bidders will be asked to offer a complete solution, instead of ONGC specifying the types and numbers of helicopters as has been the practice till now.

To pre-qualify, bidders must have offshore flying experience and conform to international offshore helicopter safety codes. Raha wants the new tender for offshore helicopters to indicate the radius of travel, including any provision for the deepwater exploration programme.

For onland services, the number of helicopters will be laid down in the new tender, but without specifying the type of helicopter. Onland helicopters must also be able to carry out emergency airlifts of ONGCs crisis management team.

Importantly, Raha wants the new tender to be decided on the single criterion of the, leastpassenger kilometres basis and, awarded to a single bidder with capability to provide the total service.