Salomon on first India visit as new Oilex chief

Vol 19, PW 14 (24 Mar 16) People & Policy

Jonathan 'Joe' Salomon, 59 is flying to India on (Monday) March 28 for a series of meetings with partner GSPC and the DGH only days after his appointment as Oilex's new Perth-based managing director.

"Oilex is fine-tuning Salomon's exact itinerary in India," reports a source. "Expect him to be in India often, he wants to fast-track Cambay operations." Accompanying Salomon will be Gandhinagar-based Jayant Sethi, an ex-ONGC geologist appointed in February last year (2015) as the company's head of India assets.

High on their agenda will be smoothing ruffled feathers at GSPC, which holds 55% in the producing Cambay field and 60% in the smaller Bhandut field; Oilex is operator at both. For months GSPC has been refusing to pay its share of future Cambay development, forcing Oilex to stall a two 'firm' and two 'optional' well drilling campaign.

EoIs were invited on March 3, 2015 and Oilex was determined to begin the campaign last October using a 1500-2000-hp rig. A month later on November 23, Zeta Resources, a 10.3% shareholder, told an Australian court it "remains fully committed" to legal proceedings against Oilex for failing to disclose that GSPC had defaulted on Cambay cash calls totalling $7.7m.

Zeta's action ended hopes of a future cash injection into Oilex that would have raised the Australian investor's equity to 19.6%, plunging Oilex into a deeper cash crunch from which it is yet to emerge.