Cairn sacks manager over Azimut seismic contract

Vol 17, PW 13 (13 Feb 14) People & Policy

Cairn India has fired one of its seismic acquisition managers for allegedly ruining Polish contractor Geofizyka Torun’s chances of winning a tender.

Shashi Mohan, deputy general manager in Cairn’s geosciences department, was unceremoniously frog-marched out of company premises in Gurgaon on or around December 18 by HR staff. Several rumours surround his abrupt dismissal; the most widely heard is he wrote negative comments about Geofizyka, which resulted in the loss of a $50m contract to shoot 1500-sq km 3D over unexplored areas of Cairn’s 3111-sq km Rajasthan block RJ-ON-90/1 to Kazakhstan-based Azimut last July.

“Everyone was surprised Azimut won,” says an industry source. “Azimut had never worked in India and Cairn usually awards contracts to experienced, technically sound contractors.

” Cairn, it seems, had tailor-made the tender to favour Geofizyka, the only company with Vibroseis equipment in India. Devastated by the contract loss, Geofizyka has since mothballed its India operations and is believed to have complained to Cairn about Mohan, which led to his sacking, after seven years at Cairn.

"Oil and gas industry professionals move from one organisation to the next for various reasons,” responds Cairn, when contacted. “Regarding your query, we're unaware of any such incident so cannot comment.

" A source close to Mohan said his treatment by Cairn was harsh and unnecessary. “Mohan was a gentleman of considerable integrity,” we hear.

“It shouldn’t have been done like this, he did nothing wrong.”

LNG Summit