ONGC rejects Gaffney's Mumbai High plan

Vol 6, PW 25 (26 Feb 03) Exploration & Production

AN UNWELCOME salesman often gets the door slammed in his face, and this is what has happened to Gaffney, Cline & Associates, until now one of ONGC's favourite consultants.

Gaffney found itself in this situation not long ago when ONGC trashed an unsolicited consultancy offer. Gaffney was offering a field development plan for the Mumbai High North and South fields for seven years to 2012 - a plan that extended beyond ONGC's ongoing $2.5bn Mumbai High modernisation programme.

We learn Gaffney's plan aims to provide "general direction and indications of what the field will require in terms of major resources over the short and medium term." Gaffney feels that had ONGC accepted its offer, senior managers and the board would have been equipped with "sufficient confidence to take more far reaching short and medium term positions." We are told this would have been especially useful while contracting rigs, materials and supplies "so as to reduce the impact that purchasing for ad hoc campaigns or short term budget approval has on ongoing dynamic operations." Gaffney's blueprint followed a rig and material requirement forecast drawn up by ONGC for all its offshore activities. It tries to "link a future production objective to rig requirements." Sadly, ONGC is unimpressed by Gaffney's sales pitch, despite the consultant's credibility and past record of consultancy at the Mumbai High.

"They were dangling a carrot in front of us," an ONGC source tells us. "They proposed this plan on their own hoping that we will engage them as consultants but we haven't."