Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has kicked off a tender covering a sizeable offshore contract for the seventh development phase of its pipeline replacement project (PRP-7) on India’s west coast.

The Indian state-owned giant operates some of the nation’s largest western offshore fields, some of which are maturing and require several phases of reinvestment to rejuvenate production.

ONGC slowed down its offshore brownfield development drive last year, in the wake of a downturn triggered by the pandemic and low global oil prices.

However, these projects are gaining momentum since oil prices stabilised at higher levels and a huge vaccination campaign brought infection rates under control.

PRP-7 is said to be one in a string of offshore developments that are likely to be launched by ONGC over the coming months.

It is also expected to set the tender ball rolling within months on multiple offshore engineering, procurement, construction and installation projects focusing on its west coast operations, which are together expected to be worth upwards of $1.25 billion, Upstream understands.

Bids for the much-delayed PRP-7 tender are likely to be submitted in November, one person said.

Bidders expected to compete include domestic engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company, Malaysia’s Sapura Energy and additional subsea players from the Middle East and South Asia, project watchers said.

The workscope involves the EPCI of more than 256 kilometres of offshore pipelines, another person said.

The pipe-laying operations will be carried out in 39 pipeline segments.

Topsides modifications of multiple structures and demolition of nine redundant risers are also likely to be involved, another person said.

About 38 kilometres of chemical injection pipeline segments are included in the workscope.

The PRP-7 work will be carried out across ONGC’s Mumbai High, Neelam Heera and Bassein & Satellite assets.

The tender was floated in January last year, but ONGC cancelled the process in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and sustained low commodity prices.

The company has carried out six expansion phases of its PRP over the past decade.

Valentine Maritime won a contract in 2019 for work on the sixth expansion phase, which was believed to be worth between $150 million and $170 million.

Workscope includes the EPCI of 124 kilometres of pipelines, spread across 22 offshore segments.

Sapura won a subsea pipeline contract in 2018, comprising work on the fifth phase of PRP, also known as the subsea wells and pipeline replacement project (SSPRP-5).

In 2017, ONGC awarded L&T a $200 million contract for work on PRP-4, which was left unfinished by Singaporean contractor Swiber Offshore.

ONGC recently said it plans to spend up to 300 billion rupees ($4.04 billion) this financial year on lump-sum turnkey projects, services and procuring materials.

Half of the envisaged spending — $2.08 billion — is likely to be channelled into major lump-sum turnkey projects that include onshore and offshore developments, project watchers have said.

ONGC is said to be preparing the tender documents for multiple engineering, procurement and construction projects that are expected to be offered gradually over the next three to four months.

Those include Daman Upside Development Project, a process platform for the Ratna field, Cluster 9 development and the fifth development phase of the NBP field, project watchers said.