Neck-to-neck race for job of ONGC exploration director

Vol 3, PW 25 (19 Jan 00) Exploration & Production

Suspense is mounting as the choice to replace TK Gopalaswamy as ONGCs exploration director narrows to just two individuals from the dozen that applied initially.

This report learns that Indias Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) the body responsible for selecting directors and chairmen of Indias state-owned companies held a day of interviews for the post of ONGC exploration director on (Wednesday) 22nd December. Of the several candidates interviewed, just two were recommended for the post: Yogesh Sinha, General Manager, Exploration & Development Directorate, Dehra Dun and Jitendra Joshi, head of the prestigious Institute of Reservoir Studies (IRS) at Ahmedabad.

The smart money is on Sinha as this particular post traditionally goes to a geologist. Joshi is a chemist.

Nonetheless both men are equally respected within ONGC for their intellect and the esteem they command among peers. Sinha heads an ONGC department known internally as the eyes and ears of the exploration director.

Joshi has been charged with the unenviable task of repairing the Bombay High and is currently preparing a model of the reservoir based on recently shot 3D data from PGS Reservoir. The names of both men have been forwarded to the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, which will make its decision after their files have been circulated among other ministries.

For western eyes it is a curious spectacle to see the selection of a technical post controlled by government officials whose only expertise lies in shuffling files from one department to another. Crucial for both candidates will be the reports on their character from the ominous sounding Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), whose job is to sniff out any wrong-doing past or present.

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