Oilex sacks country head Mike Maloney

Vol 17, PW 6 (17 Oct 13) Exploration & Production

Australian explorer Oilex is on track to spud well 77H at its Cambay block in Gujarat before December 31, despite the abrupt dismissal of country chief Mike Maloney.

London-listed Oilex announced ‘the departure’ of Maloney on October 7 but offered no details. “The Company has released Mike,” confirms Ron Miller, Oilex managing director, speaking from Perth.

“But I can’t go into details, it’s confidential.” Oilex partner GSPC is less reticent.

“Who told you Maloney resigned” exclaims a source. “He did not resign, Oilex sacked him! Mike was a very difficult person to work with.

He was arrogant and rude with stakeholders, including GSPC. No development work took place because of him.

Even the oil ministry and DGH were unhappy with his behaviour. Lots of complaints went to Perth about his attitude.

” Miller said the departure of Maloney - appointed country chief last year on July 18 - would not impact Oilex’s imminent one ‘firm’ and four ‘contingent’ Cambay well programme. “We’ve hired two tight reservoir specialists (Jim Morabito and Steve McDaniel) from North America,” says Miller.

“Their job is to ensure the well’s success.” Miller, 61, living in Australia since 1985 but originally from Ventura in California, said a well like 77H would cost around $12 or $13m.

“If this well is commercial we’ll move the four ‘contingent’ wells to ‘firm’,” he adds. “This is not a ‘shale’ play; this is a ‘tight formation’ gas play.

We are using technology common in the US to drill long horizontal wells followed by multi-stage fracking.”