Pradhan demands 'instant miracles' from ONGC

Vol 18, PW 8 (04 Dec 14) People & Policy

ONGC feels persecuted by oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who in turn is under pressure from Narendra Modi to sharply increase domestic oil and gas production.

An ONGC source complains that since the change of government in May 2014 Shastri Bhawan is unwilling to understand the challenges it faces and want instant miracles. “We’re called by the ministry almost every day for different reasons,” he says.

“There are day-long meetings where they scold us and we just keep listening.” Some at ONGC feel chairman DK Sarraf is not doing enough to support the company against the onslaught from Pradhan and oil secretary Saurabh Chandra.

“Sarraf is not an operations man, he can’t make them understand operational issues,” says a senior ONGC official. “He also lacks communication skills.

” Over the past three fiscals, ONGC has fallen short of its production targets. In 2011-12 it targeted 23.73m tonnes of oil but produced 23.71m tonnes.

In 2012-13 its target was to produce 23.98m tonnes but produced 22.56m. Similarly in 2013-14, ONGC produced 22.24m tonnes against a target of 24.08m tonnes.

Gas production is also falling. In 2013-14, ONGC produced 23.28bn cubic metres of gas against 23.32bn in 2011-12.

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