Bastia rejects 'conflict of interest' suggestion

Vol 17, PW 10 (19 Dec 13) People & Policy


Rabi Bastia, celebrated geologist and former Reliance exploration chief, has categorically denied any ‘conflict of interest’ in his dual role with two opposing companies at the centre of a seismic tender underway in Gujarat. “I am a consultant only, I don’t get involved in these things,” Bastia tells PETROWATCH, before hanging up.

Yet contractors bidding in an estimated Rs13cr ($2m) tender from Omkar Natural Resources to shoot 82-sq km 3D and 350-lkm 2D lkm at Gujarat onland block CB-ONN-2005/5, think otherwise. They say Asian Oilfield Services, bidding for the contract against Shiv Vani and AlphaGeo, will win because of Bastia’s links to the company.

Asian Oilfield announced to the Mumbai Stock Exchange in March this year that it had appointed Bastia - revered as the brains behind the D6 discovery - as an Independent Non-Executive Director. No harm there, you might think, except that Bastia also holds the dual position of President – E&P business at Mumbai-based Oilmax Energy, appointed by Omkar as Project Management Consultant (PMC) for this block.

As President – E&P business at Oilmax it’s widely assumed Bastia would push for Asian Oilfield, where he’s a non-executive director. “This is utter nonsense!” retorts Asian Oilfield, when contacted.

“Omkar will select the lowest bidder, like any operator. And we don’t come cheap! Bastia was hired as a corporate governance requirement; he has no idea of our pricing, nor does he have any role in the day-to-day running of our business.

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