The evaluation of a complex tender cannot be reduced to objective tests, and it is a mistake to attempt to do so. A successful operation depends upon many factors which are intangible or difficult to measure, and concentrating upon measurable parameters tends to misplace the correct emphasis.

The closed competitive tender is the virtually universal approach of operators wishing to contract an offshore drilling rig. It is intended to ensure that contractors make their lowest offer for doing the stipulated work, so that the operator can choose the bid which best meets his criteria without engaging in negotiating or bartering prices. In practice, however, invitations to tender (ITTs) tend to set unnecessarily strict parameters, with the threat that non-conforming bids will be rejected.

When an operator embarks upon the selection of a rig for a drilling programme, he normally has three main criteria for making his selection – technical suitability, price, and availability. None of these is as clear-cut as may appear at first sight.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.