Ahuja replaces Pillai as oil storage chief

Vol 20, PW 19 (15 Jun 17) News in Brief

In the unlikely scenario India is sucked into a global conflict the responsibility for ensuring it has adequate strategic oil reserves will rest squarely with HPS Ahuja.

On June 2, Ahuja took charge as MD and CEO of Noida-based state-owned Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves (ISPRL). One of his first tasks will be to oversee commissioning of a 2.5m tonne underground oil storage cavern at Padur in Kerala by end-July at a cost of Rs1693cr ($272m).

ISPRL already has a 1.55m tonne oil cavern at Mangalore and a 1.33m tonne cavern at Vishakapatnam. Ahuja replaces Rajan Pillai, with whom he he has worked since August 2013 as deputy CEO after joining ISPRL in 2008 on secondment from ONGC where he was a general manager.

With Padur commissioned, the government will have completed the first phase of its oil storage strategy. Underground rock caverns are widely recognised as one of the safest methods for storing hydrocarbons and oil can be supplied to Indian refineries through pipelines and ships.