Gas compressor fraud allegation against Deep

Vol 13, PW 25 (03 Jun 10) People & Policy

Deep Industries looks destined to attract controversy - no matter what it does! India’s government has already denied the Ahmedabad-based company seven CBM blocks won in the last licensing round, amid allegations that its US-based parent company Coal Gas Mart doesn’t exist.

Now Deep is accused of fraud, this time in its gas compressor business. PETROWATCH learns ONGC’s chief vigilance officer Swadeep Singh received a letter on May 16 from Sadhuram Chaudhury, owner of the relatively unknown Assam-based firm Shiv Shakti Oilfield Services, accusing Deep of fraudulently winning contracts to supply gas compressors to ONGC.

Copies of the letter are also marked to ONGC director onshore AK Hazarika and executive directors and heads of the material management departments at ONGC assets at Rajahmundry, Ahmedabad, Ankleshwar, Assam and Mehsana. When contacted, Chaudhury explains his company hires portable power generators to ONGC, GeoEnpro and Oil India.

“I wanted to enter the gas compression business,” he says, “and noticed Deep had named ‘Gulf Petroleum Machinery’ as its technical partner for the compressors it supplies.” Chaudhury claims he then tried to contact Gulf Petroleum Machinery in the hope of forming a partnership but discovered the company doesn’t exist.

“Deep quotes Gulf Petroleum Machinery in all past and ongoing tenders with ONGC,” says Chaudhury, who wants ONGC to reject all the company’s bids. To support his allegation, Chaudhury says the Gulf Petroleum Machinery website mentions only a PO Box number with no other address.

Chaudhury believes this PO Box belongs “to some other company,” and further alleges the Gulf Petroleum Machinery website was set up this April by “someone based in Ahmedabad” - but crucially, offers no evidence to back his claim. Chaudhury further alleges the Gulf Petroleum site is managed by Deep itself.

Worse, he attacks Deep for supplying old and second-hand compressors. “ONGC is being cheated,” he writes in his letter to Swadeep Singh.

“Safety is being compromised.”

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