Companies & Sectors
Cairn starts drilling of its first exploration well in Rajasthan block

Cairn believes the Rajasthan block holds an in place resource base of 7.3 billion barrels that can support 300,000 bpd of output

Cairn India on Monday said it began drilling its first exploration well in four years on the Rajasthan block which will help the company to boost its output to 215,000 barrels per day by March 2014.


On 14th February, a block oversight committee, headed by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), allowed the oil explorer to drill its three wells to explore new oil pools on Rajasthan block this fiscal. Cairn plans to drill 30 exploration wells by March 2014 and a similar number in the year thereafter.


"Following endorsement of the exploration Work Programme for the Rajasthan Block (RJ-ON-90/1) by the Management Committee less than two weeks ago, Cairn India has today commenced drilling of the first exploration well, after a gap of more than four years, in the prolific Barmer Basin," the company said in a statement.


The company said, "This (drilling) is pursuant to the clarity in policy by the Government of India, allowing for exploration operations in development blocks."


Cairn currently produces 170,000-175,000 bpd from the Rajasthan block and plans to finish 2013-14 with a production of 200,000-215,000 bpd from the block.


Taliban calls Pakistani minister Rehman Malik a 'comedian'

Over the past few days, Malik has repeatedly ridiculed the Taliban’s offer of peace talks, saying a dialogue can be held only if the banned group lays down arms and declares a month-long ceasefire

The Taliban in Pakistan Taliban has labelled the county's Interior Minister Rehman Malik as 'comedian', with a spokesman for the terrorist organisation saying some 'serious person' should replace him for any dialogue between the two sides.


Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan compared Malik to Pashto comedian Ismail Shahid and said the group did not take the minister’s statements seriously.


“Our central shura (consultative council) believes that if Rehman Malik keeps on churning out statements about our offer (of talks), it’ll indicate the government is not serious in pursuing peace talks,” Ihsan told The Express Tribune.


Over the past few days, Malik has repeatedly ridiculed the Taliban’s offer of peace talks, saying a dialogue can be held only if the banned group lays down arms and declares a month-long ceasefire.


Competition Commission probing Hiranandani Hospital for unfair practices in stem cell market

CCI said it found prima facie evidence that Hiranandani Hospital may have abused its dominant position to restrict parents from preserving their newborn's umbilical cord in other stem cell banks

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is investigating Mumbai-based LH Hiranandani Hospital for alleged unfair business practices in the stem cell market by restricting parents from preserving newborn’s stem cells at banks of their choice.


According to a latest newsletter, the Commission has “found prima facie evidence that the hospital may have abused its dominant position under the Competition Act, 2002 and directed the Director General (DG) to investigate the matter."


The informant had submitted to the Commission that while obtaining maternity services of the hospital, he was not allowed to take LifeCell’s umbilical cord stem cell banking services’.


“The said hospital, instead, insisted to have the services from Cryobanks, with which the hospital had an exclusive tie-up,” the newsletter said.


As per the newsletter, companies like LifeCell and Cryo-Cell provide various services relating to collection and preservation of the cord blood and cord tissue.


The Commission found that the patients were forced to take services of Cryobanks, if they wanted to preserve the stem cells of their new born babies.


“The consumers were left with no other choice for availing themselves of the stem cell services, while hospitalised in the said hospital. Prima facie, the agreement between the hospital and Cryobanks was found to be exclusive in nature and in violation of Section 3(4), requiring further investigation by DG,” the newsletter said.


Moreover, the commission has found that the hospital is a dominant player in the relevant market—of providing maternity services in high end multi-speciality hospitals in Mumbai, among others.


“ ... the condition imposed by the said hospital to avail the stem cell banking services of Cryobanks only, appears to be an unfair condition and a prima facie violation of Section 4, that is, abuse of dominant position, requiring further investigation by DG,” the newsletter said.


Stem cells are increasingly being used for regenerative medicine. These cells, which can help in treating a variety of diseases, are generally taken from cord blood and bone marrow.


A new born’s stem cells are preserved so that if necessary, these cells can be harvested to treat diseases in the future. They are taken soon after birth from the umbilical cord blood.


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