Pradhan humiliates ONGC at oil conference

Vol 19, PW 8 (17 Dec 15) People & Policy

Nobody can stop talking about how oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan publicly humiliated ONGC chairman DK Sarraf and director offshore TK Sengupta at the 11th biennial Society of Petroleum Geophysicists conference in Jaipur, held from December 4 to 6.

In front of 400 delegates at the Sawai Jai Singh hall on the ground floor of the Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre, Pradhan blamed Sarraf for a report submitted by reservoir consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton this month (December) claiming as much as 11.12-bn cubic metres of gas from ONGC's KG-DWN-98/2 and G-4 acreage migrated to Reliance's KG-DWN-98/3 or D6 block. "Mr.

Sarraf has dragged us into a mess," said Pradhan, looking pointedly at Sarraf, also seated on the stage. Later in his inaugural address, Pradhan criticised ONGC director offshore Sengupta.

"Mr. Sengupta, you keep telling me production from our fields is rising," said Pradhan.

"But I know the truth." Many in attendance felt it was inappropriate, not to mention rude, for Pradhan to reprimand the chairman of India's largest state-owned explorer before a global audience.

"Pradhan's comments show he's upset with us," admits a senior ONGC source. Last year ONGC launched legal proceedings against Reliance over the alleged gas siphoning from its acreage to D-6.

"ONGC is fighting to protect the national interest," adds our ONGC source. "If the government doesn't support us our efforts are wasted.