Asian's surprise low bid for Oil India seismic

Vol 20, PW 5 (17 Nov 16) Exploration & Production

Seven months after taking control of Asian Oilfield, OilMax chief Kapil Garg has shown competitors he is a seismic force to be reckoned with! Asian has quoted far below Oil India's own estimate to win a contract to shoot 2633-lkm 2D over unexplored areas of the Assam-Arakan basin, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Tripura in what mischievous observers say is Garg's attempt to push the company's share price up to increase the value of his equity.

True or not, Asian's share price rose from less than Rs60 ($0.90) in September to Rs78 ($1.17) by November 7. Just days before Diwali end-October, Oil India opened price bids to find Asian had quoted Rs78cr ($11.7m) to shoot 1763-lkm 2D in Mizoram and Tripura and Rs61cr ($9m) to shoot 870-lkm 2D in the Assam-Arakan basin and parts of Arunachal Pradesh including the Brahmaputra River's north and south banks.

Oil India's estimate for the 1763-lkm Mizoram job was Rs180cr ($30m) while for the 870-lkm Assam-Arakan portion it was Rs100cr ($17m). "I wonder how Asian will carry out this job?" says a source.

Globe Ecologistics, part of the Globe Transport Group, ranked second for the Mizoram segment by quoting Rs180cr ($30m). "Globe didn't bid for Assam-Arakan," we hear.

South Asia and Quippo, who also submitted bids to Oil India on September 14, were both disqualified. Calls to Garg for a comment weren't returned.