CERAWeek in India but with a Rs10cr price tag

Vol 20, PW 25 (07 Sep 17) People & Policy

Nasdaq-listed IHS Markit is bringing the prestigious annual energy conference CERAWeek to India but instead of welcoming the opportunity potential sponsors are complaining that it is "extorting" money.

Held every March in Houston, CERAWeek is an annual gathering of global oil companies and energy ministers. This year's conference boasted Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and India's own oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan as speakers.

Pradhan used the opportunity to unveil the new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy and trumpet the success of the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) round. PETROWATCH learns the Indian version of CERAWeek will be held in Delhi from October 8 to 10 at the Taj Palace hotel.

"The event has the blessings of (oil minister) Pradhan," says an industry source. "IHS convinced him the event will benefit India." Sources say IHS Markit country manager and director South Asia Nirmal Shani with director consulting and research Gauri Jauhar approached ONGC and asked it to "underwrite" the Rs10cr ($1.6m) cost of the event.

This apparently didn't go down well. "(ONGC chairman DK) Sarraf is never happy spending money," we hear.

"He passed the matter on to (director onshore) Mahawar who in turn passed it onto director HR (DD Misra). (Director technology and field services) Shashi Shanker was also asked to endorse the proposal." Shani and Jauhar were apparently told that if they have Pradhan's backing they should "go collect the money from the minister."

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