Norway's ambassador lobbies for Statoil rig deal with ONGC

Vol 6, PW 20 (04 Dec 02) News in Brief

Norway's ambassador to India, Truls Hanevold, clearly knows how to embarrass ONGC and the oil ministry in the corridors of power.

We understand Hanevold has been busy "showing to anyone that matters" a letter he received from ONGC chairman Subir Raha saying that a deepwater rig-hire agreement between Statoil and ONGC could be signed on 4th November, "subject to ONGC board approval." Hanevold's effective lobbying has provoked many red faces in the oil ministry, prompting oil secretary B.K Chaturvedi to remind Raha that whenever ONGC corresponds with foreign missions, it needs to be done through "the proper channels", and that the Ministry of External Affairs and the oil ministry should be informed that such correspondence is taking place.

Chaturvedi asks Raha to convey the message to other ONGC directors.

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