Raju extension

Vol 15, PW 5 (08 Sep 11) News in Brief

Joint secretary exploration DN Narasimha Raju, 55, wants to stay at the oil ministry.

PETROWATCH learns Raju applied on August 26 for a three-month extension to his five-year term, which ends on October 5. Raju, who joined the IAS in 1984 from Karnataka, would usually move to a state-level post in Karnataka capital Bangalore after his Delhi stint.

“But he’s likely to get the extension,” says an oil ministry official. Few would have thought this possible just a couple of months ago, he adds, as oil minister Jaipal Reddy seemed determined to move Raju out of the ministry.

Relations between Reddy and Raju have since improved, we hear, thanks to Reddy’s private secretary Ritesh Kumar Singh, who is also from Karnataka. In the last year, Raju has handled Cairn Energy’s high-profile sale of its Indian subsidiary to Vedanta Resources, BP’s 30% farm-in at 21 Reliance exploration blocks, and the Comptroller and Auditor General’s criticisms of work at Reliance’s D6 block and other fields.