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Three vying for ONGC's delayed PRP-4 contract

Competition for $200 million pipeline revamp project off India's west coast down to Larsen & Toubro, Timas Suplindo and SapuraKencana

THREE leading offshore contractors are battling it out for a key offshore contract from state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corporation involving its pipeline replacement project-4 (PRP-4) off India's west coast, thought to be worth around $200 million.

Sources close to the tender process told Upstream that technical and commercial offers for the PRP-4 project were submitted by three players on 25 September and an award is likely to be made within weeks.

Those thought to have submitted bids include Indian engineering giant Larsen & Toubro, Malaysia’s SapuraKencana and Indonesia’s Timas Suplindo.

UAE-based players National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) and Valentine Maritime were also expected to participate, but did not submit offers in the end, sources added.

The PRP-4 project was initially awarded to Swiber in 2015, and included the installation of 236.4 kilometres of subsea pipelines and topsides modifications on 61 offshore platforms, with the contract valued at about $362 million.

However, Swiber was unable to complete the job after being placed under judicial management last year, leading to a suspension notice from ONGC.

Following the delays, ONGC decided to tender the remaining work again and select a new offshore contractor.

One source suggested that the PRP-4 project is a crucial part of ONGC’s strategy to revamp offshore pipelines at its ageing west coast assets and is likely to be executed on a fast-track basis.

The workscope tendered by ONGC for PRP-4 includes engineering, procurement, construction and installation on 86 kilometres of subsea pipelines, demolition of several redundant risers and modification work at more than 30 offshore platforms.

In addition to the PRP-4 project, ONGC has separately tendered the remaining work for its C-26 cluster subsea pipeline project and the Daman development project, which Swiber was also unable to complete.

SapuraKencana is said to have landed the remaining transportation and installation work this year for the C-26 project, but the Indian giant is yet to award the balance for its Daman project, industry sources have suggested.

Upstream reported that L&T emerged as the only qualified bidder in the Daman tender, after ONGC disqualified Sapura due to some commercial issues. However, industry sources have indicated that ONGC is yet to make a Daman award.

The development of the Daman gas field is seen as crucial for ONGC, as the offshore field is expected to add up to 8 million cubic metres per day of gas, in a phased manner.

Offshore contractors are also lining up to submit bids to ONGC this month for a separate tender involving ONGC's subsea wells and additional pipeline project (Swapp), which is thought to be valued at more than $250 million.

The scope for the SWAPP contract comprises EPIC work for 125.6 kilometres of subsea pipelines across 29 segments.

In addition, it includes laying 11 umbilicals totaling more than 57 kilometres and topsides modifications at 31 offshore platforms, industry sources said.