Pradhan listens to drillers over Chicken Tikka

Vol 20, PW 21 (13 Jul 17) Exploration & Production

Despite the difficulties of working in India drillers were treated to chicken and fish fingers at an informal meeting with oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan who listened attentively to their complaints.

Pradhan met around 80 representatives from drillers working in India for one and a half hours on June 29 at the Jacaranda Hall of the Indian Habitat Centre in Delhi for an event titled 'Interaction with Business Partners.' "ONGC sent out invitations asking people to be seated by 2.15pm," says a source. Despite the strict time line, outgoing ONGC chairman DK Sarraf and director technical and field services Shashi Shanker were five minutes late and reached at 2.20pm.

"Pradhan arrived at 2.45pm." Speaking in Hindi the minister said he was sad drillers had not reduced rates but happy they continued to support the sector. Nobody was too sure about the purpose of the meeting other than a possible charm offensive in advance of a yet-to-be announced drilling policy that Pradhan alluded to casually.

Yet the minister won praise. "This is the first time he has met us informally," says a driller.

"These sort of meetings should happen more often." Among foreign drillers in attendance were Nabors Drilling, Shelf Drilling and Japan Drilling. Indian drillers included John Energy, GTC, Simplex, Jindal Drilling, and Essar.

Oil secretary KD Tripathi, joint secretary (exploration) Amar Nath and Oil India chairman Utpal Bora also attended.