Worley proposes $13m saving for Bombay High

Vol 5, PW 12 (01 Aug 01) Exploration & Production

Controversy is never far when ONGC employs an outside consultant, this time it's Worley of Australia, an engineering firm from Melbourne.

By now most of ONGC's top brass will know that Worley has made a startling if highly contentious revelation: that ONGC has (allegedly) inflated its estimate of the value of a tender for the construction of a water injection and gas compression platform (the so-called MWN project) at the Bombay High (North) by a staggering $13m! Why contentious Because ONGC's Mumbai Regional Business Centre (which prepared the tender documents) is sensitive to allegations that it deliberately hiked the project value and disagrees with most of Worley's critique. To its credit MRBC accepts several of Worley's recommendations butsuggests that if anything, the potential cost savings amount to no more than $2m - not $13m.

Whoever's right, the matter is being taken so seriously that ONGC has put back the date on which it will announce the winner of the contract by three months to 9th November this year and - on the insistence of outgoing finance director Indra Nath Chatterjee - has also called a session of the corporation's all-important Executive Purchase Committee to take a decision on the matter. The project's completion date has also been put back by a year from to 1st March 2004.

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