Gajendra Singh appointed ED gas marketing

Vol 18, PW 17 (23 Apr 15) People & Policy

Gajendra Singh has been appointed to the critical post of GAIL executive director gas marketing at what many believe is the worst possible time.

Singh's appointment letter reached him on April 15 and he took charge on April 16. Yet Singh, earlier head of the company's E&P division, is unlikely to be celebrating, according to GAIL sources.

They say Rajeev Mathur, who vacated the post on September 29, 2014 to shift to Mumbai as Mahanagar Gas managing director, was glad to have left in time. Selling long-term R-LNG in India has become extremely challenging for GAIL, they add, as it is now more expensive than spot LNG prices, which have dived in the last eight months.

As GAIL's exploration head, Singh has little or no gas marketing experience. Still unclear is who will replace him as E&P boss.

Singh is best remembered for a discrimination complaint he filed against the selection of Sanjib Datta as director business development. GAIL insiders tell us the complaint is unlikely to block Datta's chances and point to the promotion of general manager Somes Warudu to executive director business development as proof that Datta, who is also ED business development, will in turn be formally appointed director BD.

"Tripathi (GAIL chairman) is confident Datta will become director" says a source. "That's why Warudu was promoted to ED business development." Datta's file, we hear, is still at the PMO awaiting approval.

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