ONGC's procurement system a mess, argues Gaffney

Vol 6, PW 15 (25 Sep 02) Exploration & Production

GAFFNEY ALSO WARNS ONGC of glaring weaknesses in its materials procurement system.

It suspects this is what caused serious casing problems during the monsoon programme at three new Mumbai High wells and one Neelam well, leading to "significantly retarded production" from Mumbai High (North). "Such a run of failures is very rare and occurring on several different rigs, tends to point to materials, rather than operational problems." Gaffney believes the problem should not be left to the drilling department but should be immediately analysed by a "high level, multi-disciplined team from different departments" that should report "within a matter of days (not weeks or months) so that ONGC can know and take action on other potential wells at risk." Rapid steps, argues Gaffney, should be taken to correct matters "even if it means the emergency purchase of appropriate materials or emergency changes in operating procedures." Gaffney tells ONGC of unwarranted delays in procuring tools to complement the advanced drilling technologies it is employing.

Such delays are also hampering testing in the field. Gaffney blames delays on "foot dragging" at ONGC and complains of "woefully inadequate stocks of routine materials, chemicals and pipes" even though ONGC knows these will be used "if not in the current budget then in the next." This shortcoming, adds GCA, can lead to damaging results "when new rigs are employed at short notice because procurement starts scraping around, foreshortening other programmes.

Likely results are the casing problems above at Mumbai High (North) and Neelam.