Saturday, March 11, 2017

ACIL Interview

Calcutta, March 5: Assam Company India Ltd is set to take full control of the Amguri oilfield in Assam after the Arbitral Tribunal Board gave an award in favour of the company in an ownership dispute with the government of India.

The board declared Assam Company the owner of the 60 per cent stake held at present by public sector ONGC on behalf of the government.

The Calcutta-based company already held 40 per cent in the discovered field in the Assam-Arakan basin.

Aditya Jajodia, managing director of the company, said the field might go back to production by the middle of this year.

“With the use of latest technology, we should be able to produce much higher than what we used to do before,” Jajodia told The Telegraph over telephone.

The Amguri field used to produce 1,600 barrels of oil per day in 2010 when it was in production.

According to the award of the board, the production sharing contract between the government and the company will be extended by five years and run up to 2033.

Moreover, a sum of $3.54 million, or Rs 23.61 crore, has been granted to Assam Company as damages/compensation along with an interest of 6 per cent per annum from March 2011 till the day of payment.

Arbitral proceedings worth Rs 1.25 crore will also be given to Assam Company.

Since 2006, Assam Company along with it’s earlier partner Canaro Resources Ltd had operated the Amguri field, which was a discovered and producing field. The production stopped since December 2010 after the operatorship and participating interest of Canadian oil explorer Canaro Resources was terminated by the government over a breach of contract.

Jajodia said the production sharing contract had stated that a non-defaulting party should have got the stake of the defaulting party but the government decided to auction the interest.

“Despite having rightful claim and fulfilling all the conditions as confirmed by the GoI and its nodal agency, the directorate general of hydrocarbon (DGH), ACIL (Assam Company) was continuously denied its legal and rightful claim to possess 60 per cent participating interest and operate the field to maintain the production of oil and gas,” a company official said.

Assam Company invoked the arbitration proceedings in this regard against the government in January 2012.

Jajodia declined to comment on the possibility of bringing in a fresh partner to further develop Amguri.

“The area has potential. Just look at the aggressive bidding that took place recently for the smaller marginal fields,” Jajodia pointed out.

The Assam Company stock rallied over 10 per cent after the award of the tribunal board. The stock, with a face value of Re 1, closed at Rs 7.86 on the BSE on Friday.


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