S. Mahapatra is Pradhan favourite for DGH chief

Vol 18, PW 21 (18 Jun 15) People & Policy

Despite expectations that he would get a temporary three-month extension BN Talukdar will step down as DGH director general on June 30.

PETROWATCH learns oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan decided on June 15 to deny Talukdar an extension. “Until then it looked like Pradhan would give him an extension,” says a ministry source.

“He's always changing his mind.” Ministry additional secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney is expected to take on additional charge of the DGH top job until a new person is appointed.

Another ministry source speculates that Pradhan is determined to bring Oil India director exploration Sudhakar Mahapatra in to the role. “But Mahapatra can apply only in August when he completes one year at Oil India,” he says.

Mahapatra joined Oil India as director exploration on August 9, 2014 to replace Talukdar who moved to the DGH. But under PESB rules Mahapatra is barred from changing jobs for one year after his appointment as director exploration Oil India.

“Like Pradhan, Mahapatra is also from Orissa," adds a source. “Pradhan trusts Mahapatra.

” An ONGC former colleague of Mahapatra describes him as hardworking and efficient. Before joining Oil India, Mahapatra was group general manager and global exploration head at OVL.

“He is sincere,” says an Oil India source. “But some people don’t like him because he sits on their head until they have finished their work.

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