Nalin Srivastava vents his anger on operators

Vol 19, PW 25 (25 Aug 16) People & Policy

Only one thing is worse than dealing with a bureaucrat - dealing with a bureaucrat in a bad mood! E&P operators complain oil ministry director exploration Nalin Srivastava has been writing irrelevant or unsympathetic remarks on their files.

His supporters say he is just under pressure handling around 200 PSCs and is lashing out like a wounded tiger. As it happens Srivastava is effectively in charge of the exploration division in the oil ministry because his boss joint secretary exploration Amar Nath is still new in his job.

"Srivastava has the experience," we hear. "That's why most of the files are with him." Srivastava is also impatient to clear his desk, it seems; he moves out soon, possibly by December, to join the UN mission in Sudan.

"He must have applied hoping to get a better posting," says a source. "But instead he's going to Sudan (Transparency International ranks it as one of the most corrupt nations in the world) and is taking his anger out on E&P operators." For example Srivastava is believed to be opposing a proposal to cap the cost of unfinished work programmes at blocks awarded under the first seven NELP rounds despite backing the proposal in 2014.

"Thanks for checking with me before publishing your story," Srivastava replied to Petrowatch. "However, almost every line is FACTUALLY incorrect, including your information regarding my anger because of the Sudan assignment, cost of unfinished work programme, pending cases and work allocation."