Neptune says â€کNo Comment' on missing bond claim

Vol 12, PW 7 (21 Aug 08) Exploration & Production

Neptune Marine declines to comment on speculation it did not submit a bid bond with offers for its deepwater rigs Neptune Finder and Neptune Deepwater.

Drilling community sources tell us when the bids were opened on August 13 in the presence of the three bidders, ONGC announced that Neptune had not offered bid bonds for either of its two rigs. Neptune Marine chief executive Stein Giljarhus declined to confirm or deny this.

“I don’t want to go into details about this tender,â€‌ he said, when contacted by PETROWATCH. “I don’t know where you’ve got this information from.

â€‌ Giljarhus adds: “We’ve delivered a bid in line with ONGC’s requirements. We’ve entered the tender process and delivered a bid.

â€‌ Another driller speculates Neptune might have corrected the error through a letter to ONGC after finding the bid bond was not present. Of the two Neptune rigs on offer, Neptune Finder (former Transocean rig Sedco 708) is being upgraded in a South African yard to dynamic positioning and 7500-feet water depth capability.

“This rig was purchased about a year ago from an investment company within the KS Energy group,â€‌ we hear. “After the upgrade it will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2010.

â€‌ Neptune Deepwater is yet to be built, which technically makes it ineligible, if ONGC’s sticks rigidly to the tender conditions. Neptune says “it is up to ONGCâ€‌ to take a call on Neptune Deepwater which, it says, “could be delivered in three years, once the order is placed with a yard.

â€‌ Neptune adds ONGC should recognise that only three bids were placed. “Market specialists anticipated eight or 10 companies would bid,â€‌ we hear.

“The market is very tight and will stay tight for another five years. This is a sellers market and the three companies offering rigs in this tender have other options elsewhere.

â€‌ Drillers tell us ONGC is likely to be quoted around $600,000/day for a three-year contract and between $570,000 and $580,000 for a five-year contract.