Oil India stumbles as Covid takes hold

Vol 23, PW 22 (10 Sep 20) News in Brief

Oil India continues to face a leadership vacuum hit by Covid-19 as it battles to extinguish the BGN-5 well blow-out.

On August 27, director exploration P Chandrasekaran was transported by ambulance to Dibrugarh airport and flown to Delhi where he is undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital. "His health deteriorated fast because of a lung infection," says a source.

By September 7, Chandrasekaran was showing signs of recovery and began sending WhatsApp messages to colleagues, we hear. Oil India chairman SC Mishra, who tested positive on the same day as Chandrasekaran on August 17, returned to Delhi from Assam on September 1 and has since tested negative.

Mishra remains in self-imposed quarantine, says a source. VP Mahawar, former ONGC director operations, who is helping Oil India with the blow-out operations, also returned to Delhi from Assam on August 25 after testing positive.

"Mahawar is asymptomatic (shows no outward Coronavirus symptoms)," says a source. "He was tested only because the other (Oil India) directors were tested."

Other senior Oil India officers recovering from Covid-19 in Duliajan include director operations PK Goswami, resident chief executive Dilip Kumar Das, executive directors (HR) Prasanta Barkataky and (production) Atindra Roychowdhury, and general manager drilling Kalyan Gogoi.