Baker for Platinum

Vol 14, PW 15 (27 Jan 11) News in Brief

ONGC is expected to issue a Letter of Intent (LoI) any day now to Baker Hughes for a $270m services contract to support Vantage Energy-owned Platinum Explorer, ending prolonged uncertainty over who will win the contract.

PETROWATCH learns that on January 20, ONGC’s Executive Purchase Committee endorsed a unanimous recommendation from three Independent External Monitors (IEMs) on December 27 to award the contract to Baker, despite protests from Schlumberger, which quoted $275m for the contract – just $5m above Baker’s bid. Schlumberger alleged foul play, ONGC bias towards Baker and was instrumental in asking the three IEMs to examine the case.

Platinum Explorer, meanwhile, began drilling in the eastern offshore on December 28 when she spud her first well in 2450 metres water depths at location F-WA on the KG-DWN-2002/1 block, awarded in NELP-IV to operator ONGC (70%) partnering Oil India (20%) and Bharat Petroleum (10%). ONGC’s Phase-I commitment at this block envisages three wells by September 16 this year.

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