Bidders impatient with ONGC onland five-rig tender

Vol 10, PW 22 (08 Mar 07) Exploration & Production

Drilling contractors are getting increasingly restless with ONGC over delays in sending out the minutes of a pre-bid meeting on an integrated tender for five onland rigs.

On 8th December last year, ONGC issued a tender to hire five onland rigs. The tender closed on 8th January and on 23rd January a pre-bid meeting was held in Baroda, attended by 16 companies.

ONGC wants to hire five onland rigs for three years. Interested bidders must also offer mud and cementing services as well as directional drilling options.

“All technical and commercial issues relating to the tender were discussed during the pre-bid meetingâ€‌, says a source. “But as usual ONGC said â€کwe will get back to you’ but we are yet to receive minutes of the meeting.

â€‌ Most bidders rely on the minutes of pre-bid meetings to plan ahead. “The minutes are like a corrected tender document,â€‌ adds a source.

“They take into account inputs from interested bidders.â€‌ Although ONGC wants the five land rigs for three years, it has not identified the number of wells it wants to drill or its work programme.

Two of the rigs will be deployed at Ankleshwar in Gujarat, another two in Ahmedabad and one in the unexplored frontier basins of Jammu and Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Contacted by PETROWATCH, ONGC admits delay in preparing the minutes.

“We want to finalise the tender as early as possible,â€‌ says a source. “The delay is because there were so many clarifications and queries from the bidders.

Our internal procedures are also slow.â€‌ ONGC tells us it will send the minutes of the 23rd January meeting to the 16 interested companies by the third week of this month (March).

“After we send the minutes we will give companies four weeks to submit bids,â€‌ adds ONGC. “We have planned our work programme and the number of wells we want to drill but we can not disclose this until the bids are submitted.