Russian company MAGE will get ONGC 2D contract

Vol 9, PW 9 (11 Aug 05) Exploration & Production

Several surprises have emerged from ONGCs tender to shoot 8376-line km offshore 2D during the coming season.

Hot favourite Geoseas Technologies of Malaysia failed to reach the price bid stage as it was disqualified on technical grounds. Geoseas made the serious mistake of submitting the bid in one name, and the bid bond in another.

ONGC was unhappy with this and rejected the bid. Geoseas asked for a review of its case but was turned down.

Second surprise was the emergence of Russian company Marine Arctic Geophysical Expedition (MAGE) as the winner. MAGE was not thought to be a serious contender because it failed to attend ONGCs pre-bid conferences for the tender.

But when the price bids were opened in Mumbai on 3rd August, MAGE was the clear winner with its $4.4m bid to shoot 8376-km using survey ship Prof. Geolog Dimitri Nalivkin.

Westland Geoprojects came second offering MAGE ship Prof. Kurentsov at $6.8m; Fugro was third with Polar Duke at $7m; and Veritas came last with Veritas Searcher and Pacific Sword at $8.5m.

We understand Veritas knowingly priced itself out of the tender because, its order book is full with jobs in other parts of the world. Industry sources tell us the MAGE bid was priced very low with the aim of getting into India at any cost.

This is their first contract in India, says a rival contractor. You can bet theyll stay for another 10 years unless they go bankrupt with their low rates.

By contrast, we are told the price bids of Westland Geoprojects and Fugro are more or less realistic and in line with global market trends. Expect ONGC to award the contract to MAGE by 20th August.

This contract does not have to be approved by ONGCs Executive Purchase Committee, we are told. The basin manager has the authority.