Cairn rubbishes SPM sabotage theory in Gujarat

Vol 17, PW 5 (03 Oct 13) People & Policy

Cairn spokesman Dr.

Sunil Bharati has dismissed conspiracy theories about the mysterious disappearance and reappearance of a $20m (Rs126cr) Single-Point Mooring (SPM) buoy in August. During the 15 day air and sea search for the 200-tonne floating structure by Cairn and the Indian Coast Guard and Navy local politicians hinted that the buoy's disappearance is the work of Member of Parliament and Cairn’s ‘bête noire’ Vikram Maadam who has been battling Cairn over compensation to local farmers for delays in constructing a pipeline across their land.

“These theories are rubbish," Cairn spokesman Bharati tells PETROWATCH. "I'm hearing this for the first time.

” Maadam, 55, wields immense clout in the Gujarat city of Jamnagar and is a close ally of Reliance boss Mukesh Ambani. “Even (Gujarat chief minister Narendra) Modi is scared of Maadam,” says a Gandhinagar source.

“His word is law in Jamnagar.” Anyone in their right mind would realise such a feat is impossible, even for Maadam, who would have needed a small naval force and a team of specialist divers to carry out the alleged sabotage! When contacted, Maadam said he only learned of Cairn’s missing SPM from the news.

“I don’t know anything about it,” he said. “Go ask (Gujarat chief minister) Modi.

He has sold off not only Gujarat's land but its entire coastline to private companies.” Cairn awaits the verdict of an ‘in-house’ inquiry into the SPM disappearance by October 10.