Only Indian passport holders for Shelf Drilling

Vol 20, PW 7 (15 Dec 16) People & Policy

Foreign rig workers are angry about Shelf Drilling's stipulation that only Indian passport holders need apply for seven crew jobs on jack-up Galveston Key, hired by Shell, ONGC and Reliance to de-commission the Tapti gasfield.

"Bit racist this advert!" said one angry LinkedIn member, responding to the advert. Defending the move, a Shelf HR manager tells us the company is doing this to save costs.

"When we hire expats we have to pay them in dollars plus we have to give them a foreign service premium," he says. "There are also additional taxes." When asked if the move to hire only Indian nationals is at the behest of the Narendra Modi government and its Make in India drive, he replied: "No, this is a business driven decision to reduce costs." Dubai-based Shelf wants online applications by December 15 after issuing a notice through its Mumbai HR office on November 29 advertising the following vacancies: two drillers, a chief mechanic, barge master, offshore installation manager, offshore safety advisor and a tool pusher.

More than 100 rig workers including many who don't hold Indian passports are believed to have applied. At least 15 years experience is needed for the driller roles and five years for the installation manager, advisor and chief mechanic jobs.

Shelf adds the positions are for rig operations off the western coast including Mumbai High. On December 7, Galveston Key was moored at the Tapti field.