Oil India in shock at Covid death of top manager

Vol 23, PW 25 (22 Oct 20) People & Policy

Oil India is reeling from shock following the Coronavirus-related death of a highly respected manager charged with drilling operations across the northeast.

Chief general manager Kalyan Kumar Gogoi, or KKG to friends, died of a Coronavirus-related infection while receiving treatment in Delhi on October 12 - days after his 56th birthday on October 1. Widely admired at Oil India's field HQ in Duliajan, Gogoi's death leaves the exploration-focused Frontier Basin Project, where he took charge on February 24, with no one in charge.

Still unclear is who will replace him. "Gogoi had ambitious plans to further Frontier Basin activity," says an Oil India source.

Another source adds that but for his death Gogoi had a bright future as head of drilling in the northeast. Oil India had drafted Gogoi to help with the Baghjan blowout, where he most likely contracted Covid-19 as it ripped through the higher echelons of Oil India, several directors included.

He was instrumental in providing Oil India chairman SC Mishra, himself a Covid survivor, with important strategic and operational advice. After the infection, Gogoi was home-quarantined in Duliajan for several days on doctor's orders.

In early September, doctors shifted Gogoi to the Assam Medical College & Hospital in Dibrugarh. But by mid-September, his condition worsened, and an air ambulance flew him to Delhi.

Early this month (October), Gogoi was discharged from the ICU at Apollo Hospital and later tested Covid-negative. But a lung infection affected his heart resulting in premature death.