'Stop hiring old rigs!' BJP legislator to ONGC

Vol 21, PW 13 (05 Apr 18) People & Policy

BJP parliamentary legislator Om Prakash Yadav is stepping up pressure on ONGC to stop hiring old rigs with a threat to contact Narendra Modi directly.

Yadav, who represents the Siwan constituency of Bihar, tells this report: "I am going to write to the Prime Minister if required." Yadav says he is upset with ONGC chairman Shashi Shanker for not responding to a letter he sent on January 3, 2018, seen by this report, detailing his concerns. "I will write to ONGC again this week," says Yadav, adding he plans to raise the matter at the next meeting of parliament's Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas where he is a member since September 2014.

Contacted by this report, ONGC's technical and field services department admits to "delay" in responding to Yadav's letter. A source adds ONGC has asked the 'user group' or department which uses rigs in Mumbai to prepare a detailed response.

"We sent them a reminder on March 28," he says. "By next week Yadav should get his reply." In his January 3 letter Yadav repeated longstanding concerns that ONGC tenders are tailored to help obsolete jack-ups owned and operated largely by foreign drillers.

"It's alarming to note ONGC's jack-up fleet is one of the oldest worldwide with rigs an average 37.05 years old," he writes. "I understand this is close to the average age of rigs being scrapped."

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