Ravi Capoor tipped to be next Oil India chief

Vol 19, PW 4 (22 Oct 15) People & Policy

There's heightened speculation in the oil ministry that the government will try to please locals in Assam by appointing Ravi Capoor as the next Oil India chairman ahead of state elections next year.

Capoor, 54, joined the IAS in 1985 from Assam and Meghalaya and has five years before retirement in December 2020. Today he's joint secretary at the commerce ministry but if appointed Oil India chairman he would have to resign from the IAS.

“I believe Capoor is interested,” says a well-placed ministry official. “But it is too early to say he’ll be appointed, it is all speculation.

” Some believe the government will directly appoint the next Oil India chairman following three inconclusive interview rounds. Although not an Assam native Capoor has spent most of his working life in the state, including a prolonged stint as managing director at Assam government-owned Assam Hydrocarbon and Energy Limited, set up in 2006 to explore oil and gas, supply electricity, and exploit alternative energy sources.

Crucially his appointment would be a shrewd political move ahead of state assembly elections slated from March to June 2016. “The government doesn’t want instability in Assam,” adds another source.

“Capoor knows the oil and gas sector well.” For Capoor the benefits include the opportunity to work in Delhi and the chance to retire as an ‘oil man’ with better post-retirement prospects.