Scottish bagpipes provoke 'cold sweat' in Gujarat

Vol 4, PW 12 (19 Jul 00) People & Policy

It can only be described as a verbal bombshell! And by all accounts it has left senior officials in the state administration of Gujarat reeling from a severe case of shell shock.

Sounds intriguing It is. On 11th July, Bill Gammell, former Scottish rugby international and managing director of the Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy, along with his exploration director Mike Watts, landed in the state capital Gandhinagar for a day of meetings with a 'Who's Who' of bureaucratic clout in Gujarat.

Informed sources tell Petrowatch that Gammell left senior Gujarati officials bemused, unsteady and wondering aloud if all the money they have spent promoting the state as an international LNG destination has not been in vain. Gammell, it appears, told the unsuspecting officials that Cairn could produce 15m cubic metres a day (cm/d) from its May 15th gas discovery at CB-OS/2.

Yes - 15m cm/d! Or for those more at ease in imperial measurements: 525m cubic feet per day (cf/d). Translated into LNG: thatsapproximately 4m tonnes a year (t/y) - the near equivalent of a Shell orPetronet-LNG regassification facility on the Gujarat coast! And when will Cairn bring this to market, asked the bemused officials By 2003, according to Gammell, i.

e., when Shell, Petronet-LNG et al plan to land LNG in Gujarat.

Not entirely clear is what new evidence Gammell has to back up his phenomenal statement. What is clear is that he has left Gujarat officials nervous and muttering aloud if their state really needs LNG after all During his visit Gammell met chief secretary LNS Mukundan, principal secretary Vijay Ranchan, Gujarat State Petroleum managing director Sanjay Gupta, and others.

Gammell and Watts also visited Delhi and Chennai.