Baker Hughes in unpaid bill row with Shiv Vani

Vol 15, PW 25 (28 Jun 12) Exploration & Production

Shiv Vani is under fire from Baker Hughes for refusing to pay $5m in unpaid bills for drilling fluids, wire-line logging, drill bits and other oilfield services.

Baker has provided these services for eight Shiv Vani rigs deployed for ONGC at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, Agartala in Tripura and Assam since 2010. But on June 15 Baker stopped servicing the two rigs in Rajahmundry until Shiv Vani paid up.

“Baker had no choice but to pull the plug,” reports a source. “ONGC told it to continue providing the services but Baker was fed up when the outstanding amount crossed $5m.

” Baker began writing to Shiv Vani last December. In response Shiv Vani blamed ONGC.

“Shiv Vani said ONGC wasn’t paying up,” we hear. “Later they began talking of a cash crunch because they’d bought a jack-up (Ocean Heritage).

” Then finally in May this year Shiv Vani boss Prakash Singhee committed to pay $4m of the $5m outstanding to Baker by June 2012. “But instead Shiv Vani paid only $200,000 and that too after June 15 when services for the Rajahmundry rigs stopped.

” Will Shiv Vani now keep its promise to pay Baker $2m this month (June) If it doesn’t, Baker could stop servicing the other six Shiv Vani rigs in Assam and Agartala. Some accuse Shiv Vani promoters and brothers Prem, Prakash and Padam Singhee of being unprofessional by refusing to communicate with Baker.

“Prakash spends most of his time in Houston,” says a source. “Prem says he’s not involved and Padam says he knows nothing.

” Calls to Prem Singhee went unanswered. Shiv Vani originally won a three-year contract from ONGC for eleven rigs in 2008.