Prepare for a new ONGC director offshore

Vol 14, PW 10 (04 Nov 10) People & Policy

It was barely three weeks ago the PESB selected ONGC director offshore Sudhir Vasudeva to become the next ONGC chairman.

But many are already eyeing his current post. PETROWATCH learns four ONGC executive directors are likely to apply to step into Vasudeva’s shoes when he vacates the director offshore position on January 31 next year: Ashok Varma, PK Ghosh, PK Borthakur and Anil Johri.

Varma, who is also CEO of ONGC-owned and Russia-focused explorer Imperial Energy, is shivering away in freezing Siberia so would undoubtedly welcome the chance to return to sunny Delhi. “Varma is a bright candidate,” says an ONGC source.

“He once managed ONGC’s Assam ‘asset’ and before that was the ‘subsurface’ manager at Mumbai High.” Varma was also one of the candidates who appeared for ONGC chairman interviews so this director offshore post could serve as a consolation prize.

But ONGC executive director PK Ghosh could upset Varma’s plans. Of the four suggested candidates, Ghosh has the most offshore experience.

“Ghosh is a silent worker and keeps a low profile,” we are told. “He worked in ONGC’s corporate planning department for a few years and is now (ONGC) chief of marketing.

” Yet another strong contender is PK Borthakur, who manages ONGC’s Bassein ‘asset’ and its satellite gasfields. Borthakur lacks core production experience but has expertise in ‘well-completion’ and ‘well-servicing’ “Borthakur has headed the well services department at ONGC’s Mumbai High oil and gas field,” says a source, “and has also headed the company’s Uran LPG facility in Maharashtra.

” Finally, don’t underestimate Ahmedabad asset manager Anil Johri who boasts extensive experience building ONGC platforms and strong political connections. “When Johri was sent to Karaikal as asset manager,” we learn “he ‘managed’ his return to ONGC Ahmedabad within six months!”

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