Flood of bidders respond to ONGC platform tender

Vol 13, PW 6 (27 Aug 09) Exploration & Production

ONGC has attracted a horde of companies eager to bid for its current round of tenders to develop the B-193 field, a dramatic change from the usual weak response to its offshore EPC projects.

ONGC wants to install a platform and facilities, collectively estimated to cost $650m at the B-193 field offshore Mumbai. This is the third time it has issued tenders for B-193, and it has now carved up the original project into three parts: a 109.5-km network of pipelines, five wellhead platforms, and a process platform plus compressors and living quarters for 50 personnel.

Twelve companies have bought tender documents for the pipeline tender, 17 for the wellhead platforms, and 19 for the process platform and associated facilities. Each set of documents costs the equivalent of $1000.

Even if just a fraction of these companies actually bid, ONGC stands to make a neat $48,000 just from selling the tender documents! Among those who bought documents are the usual big names – Larsen & Toubro, National Petroleum Construction Corporation, Punj Lloyd and J. Ray McDermott – all are interested in the entire project.

Hyundai, however, is keen only on the pipeline and process platform tenders, while Leighton is understood to be keen only on the pipeline tender, as is Valentine Maritime. Says a would-be bidder: “Even small companies with no previous experience bought tender documents.

â€‌ These companies bought documents hoping to form alliances with established players knowing they stood no chance bidding on their own, we learn. “Eventually only three or four companies at most will remain in the race for each tender,â€‌ we hear.

“The others will fail to get experienced partners.â€‌ Despite eagerness among potential bidders, ONGC is relaxed.

September 9 is rumoured to be the new deadline for pipeline bids delayed from the previous August 21 deadline, and the new deadline for wellhead platform bids will be September 10, delayed by 10 days. No date has been set for the process platform tender.