ONGC opens deepwater dataroom till 15th February

Vol 5, PW 24 (30 Jan 02) Exploration & Production

AFTER SLEEPING for more than two years and causing untold frustration among potential deepwater partners, ONGC is now in a tearing hurry, much to the annoyance of the same companies it is courting for an alliance in six of its deepwater blocks awarded on a nomination basis.

On 14th January ONGC e-mailed the same 17 global majors that visited its dataroom more than two years ago, little realising that many of them no longer exist (Mobil, British Borneo, Total). ONGC's e-mail said that a 'Data Review Centre' is open at its Dehra Dun office from 14th January to 15th February.

More, ONGC asked companies to send their comments and expressions of interest on drafts of a 'Farm-Out' agreement, JOA and PSC, which it sent as attachments to the mail. But ONGC's brusque instruction that "These comments should be sent in by 31st January" left many companies seething with anger.

"First of all we received only an e-mail and not a formal letter," onetells PETROWATCH. "Then they set us deadlines asking us to respond the day after." He adds: "ONGC should understand that no one is hanging around for word from them.

Companies move on and are busy in other, more prospective areas. Nobody can make up their minds in just two weeks on such matters." ONGC predicts up to 10 companies will visit.

Others predict no more than five.