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ONGC-Teri JV to bid for $3bn Kuwait contract

Contract will be for cleaning up the oil slick created in the Gulf War that followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990

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Teri Biotech Limited (OTBL), the of state run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and The Energy and Research Institute (Teri), will bid for the Rs 15,000 crore-plus desert clean up contract in Kuwait.

Banwari Lal, director and CEO, OTBL and director, environment and industrial biotechnology Teri told Business Standard, "The Oil Company has engaged a project monitoring consultant to prepare the tender specifications. We hope that the specifications would be ready by January 2013. It will be a global tender and we will bid for the same," said Lal.

The contract will be for cleaning up the oil slick created in the that followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Lal added that it being a $3 billion project, OTBL may not be financially eligible will have to use ONGC's balance sheet to be eligible to be able to bid for the project. This however, will be subjected to ONGC board's approval. In OTBL, ONGC's partnership is 49.98 per cent and that of Teri is 48 per cent.

"Given the project is of a big nature, we may also look at forming a consortium with the international players. OTBL is a growing company. This will be a first big international project for OTBL," said Lal.

OTBL will be using its oil zapper technology for the project. The technology is a bacteria that eats away the oil part of the contaminated soil.

Under the oil zapper technology, a bioremediation agent is used to clean up both offshore and onshore oil spills and has been applied by ONGC on its own fields in India. For instance, the indigenously developed technology has been used at Mehsana, one of the largest onshore assets of ONGC.

OTBL has also developed a new technology, called anti-paraffin degrading bacterial (PDB), at the Institute of Reservoir Studies (IRS) in Ahmedabad. The technology is used to prevent paraffin wax from depositing in the tubing and casing pipe of a well.

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