Schlumberger to investigate Aakash allegations

Vol 20, PW 25 (07 Sep 17) Exploration & Production

Schlumberger is promising an internal investigation into allegations that three of its employees demanded money from an Ahmedabad-based oilfield services contractor in return for a contract.

This report learns that in a written complaint to the Prime Minister's Office (Ref No. PMOPG/E2017/0267027) Hemang Haria, director at Aakash Exploration, claims the three employees, two based in Mumbai, the third in Gurgaon, asked for money in return for a long-term sub-contract in Assam.

"In 2016, Schlumberger was awarded a contract by Oil India to work at its fields in Assam," writes Haria. "Schlumberger asked Aakash to quote rates to hire two HOC (Hot Oil Circulation) units.

Initially, Schlumberger asked Aakash to quote rates for a four-year contract." Seeing a long-term opportunity, Aakash quoted competitive rates, adds Haria. "But Schlumberger told us they would hire our units only for one year," says Haria.

"We declined the contract." After long negotiations, Schlumberger hired a single HOC unit from Aakash for one year at a new rate. "We mobilised and began work," adds Haria.

"Two months after the contract began, Schlumberger asked Aakash to reduce rates further. Since Schlumberger is a big company, we obliged." At this point, says Haria, he was approached by the three Schlumberger employees asking for money, which he refused.

"Our contract was abruptly terminated by giving one week's notice." (In the interests of fair play this report is withholding the names of the three Schlumberger employees for want of supporting evidence and pending the outcome of the company's internal investigation)

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