ONGC setting out menu for new topsides tender

Revamp: ONGC’s Mumbai High South field

India’s state-controlled Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is preparing to hit the market with a tender for an offshore development project that could include new topsides for installation on up to 10 platforms off the country’s west coast.

Several sources close to the development told Upstream that ONGC is preparing documents for tender, which could be floated as early as this month.

“We were expecting the new tender last month, but it should be out in February,” said one source.

The new project is understood to be the third tender for ONGC’s life extension of well platforms (LEWP-3) project and could be valued at more than $300 million, said sources.

The workscope is likely to include the dismantling of about 10 wellhead platform topsides and the fabrication and installation of new topsides structures.

“There are plans to first remove the old topsides and then install 10 new ones,” one industry source said.

However, another source cautioned that ONGC is yet to reveal the exact workscope.

“Earlier we were hearing about only two or three platforms, but now they (ONGC) are planning to involve 10. This looks like a big project, but we need to wait until the tender is floated,” he said.

Most of the wellhead platforms being targeted for the new tender are likely to be from the ageing Mumbai High North and Mumbai High South fields, one source said.

ONGC is also carrying out the tender process for two separate projects involving the revamp and modification of more than 40 unmanned wellhead platforms.

That project has been split into two tenders — LEWP-1 and LEWP-2. The LEWP -1 project was recently awarded to a consortium led by India’s Afcons, with the award thought to be valued at more than $160 million, sources have said.

The first LEWP tender includes revamping topsides, platform modifications for deployment of modular rigs and specific jacket repairs for a total of 20 wellhead platforms.

Afcons partners compatriots Halani Group and Triune Engineering in LEWP-1.

ONGC is also expected to open price bids soon for the second LEWP tender, for which five players are said to be in the frame.

In addition to the Afcons-led consortium, others chasing the LEWP-2 project include India’s Larsen & Toubro, Singapore-based Swiber, and a consortium led by Malaysia’s Sapura Kencana and domestic player Fortune Offshore, said sources.

ONGC floated two separate tenders in 2013 for the second phase revamp of unmanned wellhead platforms (then called RUMP phase two).

However, the process was cancelled in 2014 as crude prices plummeted and ONGC sought time to rethink offshore projects.

The LEWP project is similar to the previous RUMP tenders and is part of ONGC’s overall plan to revamp platforms in the Mumbai High and Neelam Heera fields.

Sources have indicated that ONGC is likely to adopt a more cautious approach towards offshore development projects this year, including those in shallow water, due to sustained lower crude prices.

“There are about two to three offshore projects lined up. But they (ONGC) are looking for more clarity in terms of crude pricing,” one industry source claimed.

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