Cairn 'almost' expelled from Nagayalanka

Vol 19, PW 20 (16 Jun 16) News in Brief

Trying to remove Cairn India from the onland KG-ONN-2003/1 block is like asking a pit bull to release a cat from its jaws, according to partner ONGC.

Operator ONGC (51%) issued a notice to Cairn (49%) on May 5 asserting its intention to develop the field alone. "We exercised the option of 'exclusive operation' under Article 15 of the JoA," confirms an ONGC source.

"Cairn was given 20 days to respond." But to ONGC's surprise Cairn responded within a few days. "Cairn's letter came in last week," confirmed ONGC on May 31.

"Now they're saying we (ONGC) must check the Field Development Plan (FDP) figures again." Cairn, he adds, believes ONGC's proposed $1bn FDP isn't "techno-commercially" viable; ONGC is preparing a reply. "We want Cairn to clarify if it wants to continue," says ONGC.

"A simple 'yes' or 'no' is enough so we can proceed with field development. Profit or loss is our headache." Home to the Nagayalanka discoveries, ONGC plans 31 wells at KG-ONN-2003/1.