Valentine and L&T favourites for new MHN jobs

Vol 13, PW 12 (19 Nov 09) Exploration & Production

Larsen & Toubro and Abu Dhabi-based pipeline contractor Valentine Maritime are front-runners to win two ONGC offshore tenders for new platforms and pipelines at the Mumbai High North oil and gasfield.

ONGC re-issued tender documents for the platforms tender for a week to November 13 and the pipeline tender for a week to November 17 after radically changing the scope of work. Instead of six wellhead platforms, ONGC now wants four wellhead platforms and connecting pipelines.

The two wellhead platforms and associated pipelines separated from this project will be part of a yet-to-be announced offshore Mumbai B-46 field development programme. Tehran-based Iran Offshore Engineering Corporation is the latest to buy tender documents for both jobs.

ONGC wants bids for the four-wellhead platforms within 21 days from November 13 and for the associated pipelines within 21 days from November 17. “The earliest ONGC can award these two contracts is February next year,â€‌ says an observer, “if you consider the time needed to evaluate bids.

â€‌ ONGC wants both ready by April 2011. Given the tight schedule, says a source, “not many contractors will be able to deliver on time.

â€‌ Of the eight contractors competing for the platforms job, we hear, only Larsen & Toubro is best equipped to meet the ONGC deadline. “L&T’s biggest advantage is that it has its own yard in India,â€‌ we hear.

“L&T also has experience of such tight-schedule jobs.â€‌ For the pipelines, Valentine Maritime is the clear favourite.

“Of all the bidders,â€‌ says a source, “only Valentine owns pipe-laying barges. And Valentine is already working in the Mumbai High for the pipeline contract of the (unrelated) new MHN platform.

Valentine will incur hardly any additional mobilisation expense and can quote an attractive rate.â€‌

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