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ONGC floats tender for offshore seismic drive

Indian giant invites companies to bid to carry out 2D and 3D data acquisition off country's west and east coasts

India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has launched a tender for a substantial seismic data acquisition project involving multiple offshore tracts off the country’s west and east coasts.

ONGC aims to carry out 2D and 3D conventional as well as broadband seismic data acquisition in the Mumbai and Mahanadi offshore basins.

Shallow-water blocks MB-OSHP-2018/1 and MB-OSHP-2018/2 on the west coast and deep-water acreage MN-DWHP-2018/1 off the east coast have been earmarked for the data acquisition drive during the upcoming season that starts in October.

The blocks were awarded during recent rounds of India’s Open Acreage & Licensing Policy (OALP).

In the western offshore, named as Sector 1, ONGC plans to shoot 940 line kilometres of 2D conventional seismic and 2046 square kilometres of conventional 3D data on blocks MB-OSHP-2018/1 and MB-OSHP-2018/2.

The winning seismic contractor will carry out data acquisition in shallow waters ranging from 12 and 35 metres in depth, one source suggested.

Similarly, on the east coast, designated Sector 2, ONGC aims to acquire 800 kilometres of 2D conventional data and 1600 square kilometres of 3D broadband seismic data in Mahanadi basin deep-water block MN-DWHP-2018/1, in water depths ranging between 200 and 1500 metres.

The 3D broadband data acquisition in the deep-water block will be performed using deep tow dual or multi-sensor streamers or with a single sensor slant streamer, one source said.

ONGC aims to award the seismic contract within a month or two and the preferred contractor will be required to complete the acquisition by June next year.

Several leading international seismic contractors are expected to bid for the work.

Those seen as likely to show interest include Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services and SeaBird Exploration, Middle East-based Polarcus, CGG and Shearwater GeoServices.

Others could also be involved, a source said.

ONGC earlier this year floated a seismic tender for the acquisition of 3D broadband data in its MB-OSHP-2017/1, C-Series and GK-28/42 shallow water blocks, all off India's west coast.

More than 2000 square kilometres of seismic data is likely to be acquired on these of the state-owned operator's blocks.

ONGC plans to spend more than $400 million during the next three to four years on blocks that it won during the OALP bid rounds.

Under OALP-1 ONGC won a total of five blocks — two as operator — and an additional eight blocks were awarded to the Indian giant during the second and third rounds.

ONGC over the next few months is expected to float additional seismic tenders, mostly for acreage awarded from the OALP rounds.

(This article has been amended to correct the fact that the WesternGeco marine acquisition business is now owned by Shearwater, not Schlumberger.)

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