More changes on ONGC board

Vol 4, PW 2 (01 Mar 00) Exploration & Production

This year should see some more new faces on the board of ONGC.

In addition to a new exploration director, the board is also likely to see a new drilling director and new operations director. AS Soni, present operations director, also holds temporary charge of exploration director and retires in July when he reaches the age of 60.

After him, comes SM Malhotra, drilling director who steps down in September, when he too reaches the age of 60 - a mandatory retirement age for all government employees. It is understood that several candidates are in the race to replace Soni, but the two favourites are VK Sharma, currently Executive Director, Mumbai Regional Business Centre, and AK Mehra head of MRBC's Drilling Business Group.

There are several claimants for Malhotra's position as well, but Petrowatch learns that VK Sharma is strongly placed to take this position also, if he doesn't get the position of operations director. Another strong candidate for Malhotra's position is Gyan Singh, head of MRBC's Operations Business Group.

Until recently Singh was head of ONGC's Institute of Oil & Gas Production Technology (IOGPT) at Panvel in Mumbai. To be eligible, candidates must be 58 or below, and have at least four years experience as general manager.

Meanwhile, supporters of Jitendra Joshi, head of the Institute of Reservoir Studies (IRS) in Ahmedabad and candidate in the race to become new exploration director are despondent that he has lost the race to YB Sinha, head of the Exploration Directorate in Dehra Dun, despite no formal announcement to that effect. "Ministry officials have been brainwashed that a geologist must get the job," complains a Joshi supporter.

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