Another ONGC tender criticised by service contractors

Vol 11, PW 4 (28 Jun 07) Exploration & Production

Controversy and ONGC tenders seem to go hand in hand.

This time contractors are complaining about ONGC’s handling of a tender to hire four MWD (Measurement While Drilling) units in the Mumbai Offshore for three years. Specifically, they allege ONGC has modified the pre-qualification criteria for the contract, valued at approximately $10m, to appease Jindal Drilling, which was disqualified.

Originally issued on 9th February, the tender was scrapped and re-issued on 15th June. “We have made some changes to the eligibility criteria,â€‌ admits ONGC.

“The tender is on and we have written to the office of our director (UN Bose) for comments regarding some queries from bidders. Tender documents will be on sale for one more week.

â€‌ Adds ONGC: “We want to award the tender as early as possible as we need the equipment from October or November.â€‌ Questions were first raised after the first pre-bid meeting held on 9th March, attended by Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Jindal Drilling, Weatherford and Shiv Vani.

“Jindal was one of the companies that did not qualify,â€‌ says an industry source. “Jindal was very vocal during the pre-bid meeting and said the pre-qualification criteria is biased against Indian companies.

â€‌ Contacted by PETROWATCH, Jindal confirms its unhappiness with the original tender. “ONGC’s pre-qualification criteria was very foolish,â€‌ says a source.

“It said Indian companies bidding for the tender must have international experience. Are they saying that a company should work outside India, let’s say in Bangladesh, before biddingâ€‌ Another industry source questions the value of the pre-bid meetings held by ONGC.

“These pre-bid meetings organised by ONGC are of no use,â€‌ he says. “ONGC hardly listens to the bidders.

They just tell bidders what they want and tell them that for any change approval is required from ONGC’s head office in Delhi. It is always one way with ONGC.

â€‌ A second pre-bid for this tender is scheduled for (Thursday) 28th June.