GeoGlobal’s Jean Paul Roy, who part-owns GSPC blocks, has a history of controversies
AHMEDABAD: Jean Paul Roy, a Canadian geologist who lives in Guatemala and drives around in a Scorpio, has been a bee in Narendra Modi's bonnet long before Arvind Kejriwal discovered him and alleged the scientist made billions overnight thanks to sweetheart oil and gas deals with the Gujarat government.
Actually, Roy has been embroiled in several disputes with state authorities, particularly after he publicly questioned Modi's dramatic announcement in 2005 that Gujarat State Petroleum Corp's (GSPC) field in the KG Basin held an astonishing 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. Roy, a 10% partner in the block and a seasoned geologist who has explored hydrocarbons in 30 countries, quickly responded saying Modi's claim was premature.
Relations between the two partners have been troubled since then, and GSPC wrote to the oil ministry two years ago saying it wants to terminate the partnership with GeoGlobal.
Roy's company has questioned some costly drilling by the state firm, which has spent $2.5 billion but is five years behind schedule in developing the field.
"Roy impressed GSPC, and the company decided to partner with his consulting venture that was to be listed later in America. Like CairnBSE 0.17 %, Roy also had ambitions to list his venture in India. But everything changed in 2005," says a senior GSPC official who did not want to be named.
Roy, who speaks French, Spanish and English, is regarded by friends as a man with an eagle eye for discovering oil as well as people who matter. Former ONGCBSE 0.28 % chief Subir Raha was on GeoGlobal's board till his death two years ago. Earlier, the company had appointed Avinash Chandra, former director-general of hydrocarbons, a director.
Roy's innings in India began as a technical advisor to Canadian company Niko Resources, which was exploring the Hazira offshore field in partnership with GSPC. He also advised, say his associates, Niko during the discovery of the D6 Block, now controlled by Reliance IndustriesBSE 1.29 % and BP.
But his luck seems to have suddenly run out. He has diluted his majority stake in GeoGlobal Resources, although he still holds 5% interest in the KG Basin block.
It is no wonder the stock hit 5¢ today before rebounding 60% as I type!!