Single Tender Bid Of Oil India Limited Airborne Tender Can Make It Lose Rs. 80 Crores

Is the Oil PSU guilty flouting it's own norms in tender bidding ?

Oil India Limited could end up losing up to Rs. 80 crores if it agrees to a request from one of it’s contractors to change the tender terms.

In October 2022, Oil India hired Bell Geospace to acquire AGG (airborne gravity and gradiometry) data over seven unexplored blocks. Oil India wants to acquire data over the Karewa, Spiti, Assam‐Arunachal Pradesh, Assam‐Nagaland‐Manipur, Assam‐Mizoram–Tripura, Bastar and Cauvery Blocks (North & South).

According to the tender conditions, successful bidder is required to mobilise two aircraft for the assignment. Bell Geospace has expressed its inability to mobilise two aircraft and has asked Oil India to relax the tender terms/conditions.

DGH, coordinator of the National Seismic Programme and also the custodian of the data of sedimentary basins of India has refused to allow Oil India relax the tender conditions. DGH is supposed to refund money spent by Oil India on acquiring the data of unexplored areas from a fund allocated by the OIDB (Oil Industry Development Board).

DGH has categorically stated that it will not reimburse Oil India if it agrees to favour Bell Geospace. When OIL issued the said tender in June 2022, it was alleged that it was designed to favour Bell Geospace.

Oil India disqualified Xcalibur and Bridgeporth, the other two bidders on financial grounds and awarded the tender to Bell Geospace, the sole qualified bidder flouting it’s own norms.

Interestingly, an email sent by to Dr. Manas Kumar Sharma, Director (Exploration & Development), Oil India Limited, enquiring about the single tender bid, received a curt response saying “Please liaise with Corporate Communication Department”.

Normally, in case of single tender bid, there is a practice of re-tendering but in this case, why is Oil India Limited keen on taking this short route, is not understandable at all.

To be continued ….

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