Halliburton in offshore cementing row with ONGC

Vol 6, PW 6 (22 May 02) Exploration & Production

Halliburton is upset with ONGC.

The US oilfield contractor reckons ONGC's new resolve to bring in the best available technology is a sham. We learn the two companies have serious differences over an ONGC April tender for purchase of high-pressure offshore cementing units.

A pre-bid meeting was held on 17th April but ONGC refused to accept the changes suggested by Halliburton in the bid documents. On 25th April Halliburton India manager Steve Watson wrote a two-page letter (riddled with typographical errors!) to ONGC chairman Subir Raha.

"The practice of the not paying heed or consideration to the potential bidders requests at the pre-bid meeting, as is being clearly expressed by us on this tender, results is making the whole exercise frustrating and futile." Strong words indeed! Watson also points out that Halliburton believes ONGC's tender documents for high pressure cementing units will not bring in the best technology. "The specifications of the cementing units does not reflect and incorporate any requirement for the latest technology equipment providing quality improvement and enhanced performance the industry is moving towards." Watson reminds Raha that Halliburton possesses "unparalleled capabilities and technology in cementing" and is depended upon by "most major oil companies the world over." The letter ends on a plaintive and verbose note.

"We thank you for taking valuable time over the contents of this letter and look forward to your favourable consideration to our request."