ONGC extends modular rig tender

Vol 10, PW 17 (14 Dec 06) News in Brief

ONGC has again extended the bid deadline for two offshore modular rigs, used for workover jobs and cheaper than regular jack-ups.

Hectic lobbying by companies who do not fit ONGCs qualifying criteria is believed to be behind this postponement, first from 27th November to 5th December, and now to 19th December. Seven companies are competing, among them: Shiv Vani, Mercator Offshore and Jindal Drilling from India, Saag RR (Malaysia), PSL Energy (Singapore), Polaris (Germany) and Sundowner (Malaysia).

ONGC says that to qualify for the tender a company must have operated offshore modular rigs for at least two years. Given these criteria, we are told, only two companies qualify: Saag RR and Sundowner.

Says a source: Saag RR has its own offshore modular rigs and Sundowner operates two modular rigs for ONGC in the Mumbai Offshore. Some of the companies that do not have the relevant experience want ONGC to relax its criteria.