Questions over GSPC motive in widening KG bid circle

Vol 10, PW 25 (19 Apr 07) Exploration & Production

Bidders short listed by GSPC to farm-in up to 30% of KG discovery block KG-OSN-2001/3 have begun to question the motives behind managing director DJ Pandian's decision to widen the circle of interested parties.

“This is just an attempt to buy time,â€‌ reveals a well-placed source in response to reports that Pandian is ready to share drilling and test data with all 12 bidders who were originally in the race. Out of these 12, GSPC consultant UBS Securities short-listed BG, BP, Chevron and Eni, but dropped Shell, Total and Exxon, among others.

"Maybe during the time gained by starting the process afresh, GSPC hopes to get a decisive (hydrocarbon) strike on the block," adds our source. “GSPC really has no choice but to do this; they've hyped up expectations so much by claiming a 20-tcf discovery.

â€‌ But he concedes: “If we were in GSPC's place we would probably have done the same.â€‌ Another theory is that GSPC wants to get ExxonMobil back in the race.

Exxon was one of the 12 original bidders but was dropped by UBS (See: