Not quite the full price for a barrel of ONGC crude

Vol 4, PW 19 (25 Oct 00) News in Brief

Managers at ONGC suspect the government may conveniently forget its promise to pay the full market price for a barrel of crude when the administered pricing mechanism is abolished in 2002.

In January this year, the Indian oil ministry put a ceiling of Rs5,570 ($123) per tonne, which corresponds to $16.50 per barrel, in violation of its own commitment to pay 82.5% of the prevailing international price. Petrowatch learns irritation at this arbitrary move is all pervading among middle level ONGC employees, many of whom are shareholders and were expecting sharp profits this year because of the high oil price.