Cairn accused of wasting time with contractors

Vol 20, PW 9 (26 Jan 17) Exploration & Production

Cairn India stands accused of "wasting time" after a fruitless meeting with contractors in Houston on how to boost Rajasthan production and proceed with a virgin offshore exploration block in southern India.

Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford and Baker Hughes managers were invited to Houston from December 12-14 by acting Cairn chief Sudhir Mathur to explore a cost-sharing initiative centred on RJ-ON-90/1 in Rajasthan and KG offshore block KG-OSN-2009/3 where it has committed six exploration wells. "It's not easy working with a 'Lala' businessman like Agarwal," says one contractor who attended.

"He wants everything for free!" Cairn wants suggestions on how to double production from its flagship Rajasthan fields from 154,000 b/d today to 300,000 b/d. But with no dataroom, Cairn's lack of preparation was a huge irritant.

"Cairn needs to share its data," says another contractor. "How can we invest without seeing production profiles or well data?" Another provider sees a "disconnect" between Cairn managers and Agarwal's expectations.

"Agarwal wants someone to invest to achieve his production targets," we hear. "But nobody knows where the oil will come from because we haven't seen reservoir data." A third provider complains nothing concrete was discussed while a fourth speculates Agarwal is only interested in free suggestions so he can evaluate the competence of his own team.

Everyone's now waiting for Cairn to issue a tender. "Unless it's on paper," we hear, "there's no point discussing it!"