Talukdar and Rath not interested in DGH top job

Vol 15, PW 13 (12 Jan 12) People & Policy

ONGC is one of Asia’s largest E&P companies but somehow it’s always a candidate from junior state-owned explorer Oil India who ends up heading the DGH.

Yet ONGC might now reverse the trend. Within the next few days, the oil ministry is expected to release an advertisement seeking CVs from candidates to replace outgoing director general SK Srivastava when he moves to Oil India as chairman on May 1.

One rumour circulating is that ONGC executive director JG Chaturvedi, asset manager at ONGC’s offshore Neelam and Heera fields, might apply. “Chaturvedi seems to be very interested,” says an observer.

Before moving to his new role as Neelam and Heera asset manager Chaturvedi was ONGC chief of marginal fields for more than two years. But he is believed to be keen to move into a director level post as he has less than two years left before retirement aged 60.

Last year Chaturvedi unsuccessfully applied for the ONGC director HR post but lost to KS Jamestin, who was selected after interviews by the PESB on February 22 last year. Chaturvedi appeared for the ONGC director exploration interviews in November 2010 where he was easily defeated by SV Rao.

Luckily for Chaturvedi, it seems he has little competition for the DGH top job. Some believed Oil India director operations S.

Rath or Oil India director exploration BN Talukdar were strong candidates, but both tell this report they are not interested in the role. A former DGH employee believes the ministry might have a hard time finding Srivastava’s replacement.

“Nobody is keen,” he says. “Controversy over (alleged) DGH favouritism to some private operators (read: Reliance) and frequent CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) raids since last year are making it difficult to work at the DGH.