Ex-Oilex boss Maloney looks at marginal fields

Vol 19, PW 22 (14 Jul 16) People & Policy

You'd think Mike Maloney had had enough of India, after being sacked in October 2013 as Australian explorer Oilex's country head.

But despite his denial, industry sources say Maloney is once again looking at opportunities in India - he was spotted in Mumbai at the Taj Land's End Hotel on June 5 at the oil ministry's first roadshow for the Discovered Small Fields bidding round. Whispers are circulating that shortly before coming to India for the roadshow Maloney put together a company named Oiltaxt with Canadian partners intent on participating in this bidding round.

Of particular interest to Maloney, rumour has it, are the only two Rajasthan fields on offer: Bakhri-Tibba and Sadewala. "Having worked on the Bhandut and Cambay fields (in neighbouring Gujarat) for Oilex," says a source, "Maloney has a fair idea of the geology and working conditions at the Rajasthan fields." He believes Maloney wants to bring in technology and expertise and get the venture financed by Indian investors.

"All is still at a preliminary stage," we hear. "A final decision will be taken after analysing the data on offer by the DGH.

The best thing about this bidding round is that anybody can bid without experience." Maloney denied the rumours in an email. "Sorry," he writes.

"You are not informed accurately. I am not interested in participating in such a venture.

I know enough about India to stay well clear of its difficult systems."

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