Silence speaks volumes at ONGC-contractor meet

Vol 17, PW 1 (08 Aug 13) Exploration & Production

There's no point pretending to be open to criticism if you aren't.

That's what contractors and suppliers feel about attempts by ONGC chairman Sudhir Vasudeva and his fellow directors to make a good impression at a meeting with vendors in Mumbai on July 20 and 21. “Vasudeva was trying to show everyone he's a man of action,” says a source who attended.

“He prompted vendors and contractors to ask questions and share their concerns with his colleagues on the board.” But Vasudeva's efforts were futile as ONGC had told vendors beforehand not to ask specific questions about their contracts with the company.

"I wondered what I could ask," adds another source. "All my questions are only about my contracts!" ONGC director technical and field services Shashi Shanker made the opening remarks to 250 assembled contractors at the Grand Hyatt hotel on day one.

“By the second day attendance was down to 40%,” we hear. On the second day ONGC hosted separate sessions for original equipment manufacturers, EPC contractors and operations and maintenance contractors.

Responding to concerns raised by original equipment manufacturers, Vasudeva set up a committee to look into ONGC's terms and conditions for equipment procurement. Contractors complain ONGC director offshore PK Borthakur and ONGC director Shanker were particularly unimpressive when Vasudeva coaxed them to answer questions.

“We didn’t understand their replies,” adds another contractor. “Only (director exploration) NK Verma knew what he was talking about.

” ONGC’s chief vigilance officer Sanjeeva Kumar also attended.

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