Natural Gas Asia

Friday, April 28, 2017

India Holds Backs Approval to Arrow Energy for China Links

India’s oil ministry has held back approval for Arrow Energy’s request to amend its CBM contracts to reflect the change in ownership due to Chinese links.

Arrow was acquired by an equal joint venture of Shell and PetroChina in August 2010. Subsequently, its international assets, including Indian CBM blocks, were hived off to a new company Dart Energy.

The Economic Times says that Dart Energy wants the CBM contract to reflect its name in place of Arrow, but the oil ministry has rejected its application four times in the past year, although on technical grounds that the request was not made in proper format.

The paper says that oil ministry and DGH officials were curious about the company's China connection, particularly because its CBM blocks are located in Maoist-infested areas in central India, and Assam, and the company is in talks to buy ONGC's CBM blocks.

"The amendment is only in changing name from Arrow to Dart in five places of CBM contract. It is highly frustrating that the government can take such long time with this simple thing which has been vetted by the DGH," Dart Energy's country manager Sudhansu Adhikari said in a letter to director general hydrocarbons.