Sanjeev Tokhi looks to South America

Vol 24, PW 18 (29 Jul 21) News in Brief

When he takes charge as OVL's new exploration director, Sanjeev Tokhi's priority will be securing new overseas assets.

On July 17 (2021), ONGC Bengal Basin asset manager Tokhi beat executive directors Omkar Nath Gyani and Vishal Shastri and group general managers Hari Kirat Singh and Kush Rajkeshari Singh to win the PESB recommendation as OVL's new director exploration. When contacted, Tokhi said little more than confirm the PESB's recommendation.

But a source close to Tokhi, a geophysicist, expects him to pursue "much-needed" exploration (by OVL) offshore South America, especially off the coast of Guyana, an English-speaking nation with dense rainforest near Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil where OVL has assets. He adds Tokhi wants to leverage ONGC's deepwater exploration experience working on India's eastern offshore, mainly at KG-DWN-98/2, in South America.

Some say Tokhi also sees opportunities for OVL in US shale even though Reliance has sold its US shale oil assets and Oil India wants to exit. It's believed Tokhi is also in favour of OVL "buying out small, smart overseas operators" with promising discoveries but who don't have the financial resources to monetise them.

Tokhi's wife is geologist Barnali Tokhi, a former ONGC colleague, but today president technical at Bharat PetroResources. In June (2021), Barnali issued a clarion call for a dedicated online website to help upstream operators in India.