Sarraf birthday present is ONGC chairman job

Vol 17, PW 3 (05 Sep 13) People & Policy

Dinesh K.

Sarraf tells PETROWATCH winning the ONGC chairman job was the best birthday gift possible! OVL managing director Sarraf was selected on August 30 by the PESB just days before he turned 56 on September 3. He replaces Sudhir Vasudeva, who retires as ONGC chairman on February 28 next year.

“I am excited about going back to ONGC,” Sarraf tells PETROWATCH. “My selection is a great birthday gift.

” Sarraf is riding a wave of success after he sealed the deal to buy 10% of Anadarko's 36.5% stake at the Rovuma Area-1 gasfield offshore Mozambique for $2.64bn. But he has his work cut out dealing with declining production from ONGC's assets at home.

Another challenge is to replenish ONGC with fresh blood: around 7,500 employees from a total workforce of 33,000 will retire in the next five years. Of these 2000 are highly skilled geologists and geophysicists.

Sarraf must also oversee the development of ONGC's deepwater gas discovery KG-DWN-98/2 off the east coast, in addition to shallow water gas discoveries off the west coast at Daman and Mumbai High. Sarraf has waited three years for the ONGC chairman job: he was a strong contender in 2010 but was beaten by Sudhir Vasudeva.

As ONGC director finance, he then moved to OVL as MD. “Sarraf is clean,” says a contractor.

“His file will be easily cleared by the (anti-corruption) CVC for appointment.”

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