Hind wins east coast ONGC seismic contract

Vol 14, PW 12 (02 Dec 10) Exploration & Production

Foreign seismic players in India face their first real challenge from a domestic competitor.

PETROWATCH learns Hind Geophysical Services, a subsidiary of Mumbai-based Hind Offshore, is set to win its first ONGC seismic contract. This will make Hind the first Indian-owned offshore seismic contractor to operate in this country’s waters.

On November 10, Hind was lowest bidder in an ONGC tender to shoot 13,291-lkm of 2D across nine eastern offshore blocks, defeating Russian companies SMNG, DMNG and MAGE, as well as Norway’s Seabird. Hind is believed to have quoted just under $10m for the job.

SMNG’s quote was 35% higher than Hind’s; DMNG quoted 47% higher; MAGE’s was 69% higher; while Seabird’s was 91% more. Hind should get the Letter of Intent (LoI) from ONGC soon and expects to mobilise Indian-flagged survey vessel Geo Hind Sagar by January 26 next year and complete the assignment by March, 2011.

Geo Hind Sagar, formerly owned by Fugro, is presently offshore Mumbai having her ‘streamers’ inspected and some ‘software’ loaded. Once Hind gets the LoI, Geo Hind Sagar will begin shooting 2D across ONGC blocks KG-OSN-2004/1; KG-OSN-2009/1; KG-OSN-2009/2 in the Krishna Godavari basin; and AN-DWN-2009/1; AN-DWN-2009/2; AN-DWN-2009/3; AN-DWN-2009/5; AN-DWN-2009/13; and AN-DWN-2009/19 near the Andamans.

Meanwhile, Hind is the only bidder left in ONGC’s tender to shoot 866-sq km 3D at Kutch offshore blocks GK-OSN-2009/1 and GK-OSN-2009/2. On October 26, ONGC opened Hind’s price bid to discover it had quoted around $24m for Geo Natuna - hired from Fugro.

But sole competitor CGGVeritas could not confirm it had a vessel available for the contract so ONGC chose not to open its price bid. Logically, ONGC should award the LoI to Hind Geophysical but, we hear, it could also scrap and re-issue the tender, “on the pretext that only one price bid could be opened.