Vol 3, PW 2 (17 Feb 99) People & Policy

It has been known for some weeks that ONGC intends to exploit the current depression in the upstream exploration sector by attempting to acquire equipment and acreage at rock-bottom prices.

Bikash Bora, Chairman, ONGC, has admitted as much in a series of newspaper articles. It now emerges that ONGC is initiating concrete moves to begin the process.

Petrowatch learns that RC Gourh, ONGCs Director Technical, has been charged with setting up five separate committees made up of ONGC managers to examine the corporations equipment requirements for the next ten years. The committees will examine in detail ONGCs future requirement for oil rigs, platforms, oilfield equipment services, technology upgradation and logistics.

A source at ONGC tells Petrowatch that RC Gourh, one of the younger members of ONGCs board, appears determined to embark on an ambitious Action Plan to modernise and rationalise ONGCs equipment and technology resource base. "Gourh speaks of the advisability of buying second hand equipment, if the equipment is good", a source tells this report, "He speaks of the need to take advantage of the recession in world markets, especially in the cheaper price of oil rigs".

The five committees set up under Gourh have been told to come up with lists of ONGCs requirements. At ONGC, however, there is some disquiet that RC Gourh has been charged with executing such an ambitious purchase programme.