Merichem continues to pressure IOC for a meeting

Vol 12, PW 4 (10 Jul 08) People & Policy

US-based Merichem Chemicals & Refinery Services is upset about IOC’s refusal to acknowledge its repeated letters and calls to discuss allegations of patent violations in refinery processes used to remove sulphur from petrol and diesel.

Last month we highlighted Merichem’s allegation that IOC’s IndeSweet and IndeTreat refinery processes violated its patents. Since then we understand Merichem wrote to IOC chairman Sarthak Behuria on June 13, objecting to comments from an IOC source in the June 12 issue of PETROWATCH.

Merichem’s main objection is to a comment from Behuria’s office telling us no request for a meeting had been received to discuss the alleged patent violations. “We are surprised because Merichem has made numerous requests to your office for such a meeting,â€‌ writes Merichem, adding that letters were sent on March 27, April 8 and May 15 this year.

“For the sake of clarity on this issue, Merichem hereby renews its repeated request for a meeting with yourself and appropriate IOC directors, officers, or senior staff to discuss the very serious matter set forth to you in the above referenced correspondence.â€‌ Merichem continues: “In case you are not aware, Mr R.

Narayanan, designated by your April 16 correspondence as the person to whom Merichem should address its concerns, has not made any known attempts to further communicate with Merichem.â€‌ As with its earlier letters, the June 13 letter was also copied to the entire IOC board.

Sadly, it was not copied to this report but we managed to see it anyhow! Merichem concludes by asking Behuria to let it know by June 20, “of times available within the next four weeks in order to hold the requested meeting with you.â€‌ Contacted by this report, Behuria’s office confirms that no reply has been sent to Merichem.

“We received a telephone call and a letter from a lady in Merichem,â€‌ said a spokesman vaguely, adding that Behuria is travelling abroad and would be back in India only on July 9. “A response will be sent after that,â€‌ he said.