DK Sarraf wins OVL managing director post

Vol 14, PW 26 (30 Jun 11) People & Policy

DK Sarraf says acquiring oil and gas assets in the Commonwealth of Independent States (the central Asian region of the former Soviet Union), Russia, Latin America and Africa will be his main focus as ONGC Videsh (OVL) managing director.

Presently ONGC director finance, Sarraf, 53, was selected as OVL managing director during PESB interviews on June 24. “I have big plans for OVL,” he tells us.

“We will go to any country where there is oil to ensure India’s energy security.” Born on September 3, 1957, Sarraf is praised by colleagues for his sound business sense and reputation as a tough negotiator who always has ONGC’s best interests at heart.

He has been ONGC director finance since December 27, 2007 but also worked at OVL as director finance between 2005 and 2007. Sarraf says he will ensure OVL adds more ‘cheap oil’ assets to its global portfolio.

“By cheap oil I mean we won’t go to the Gulf of Mexico where production costs are high,” he explains. “But we will also look at assets with ‘heavy oil.

’ (Canadian) oil sands are another growth opportunity.” ONGC insiders welcome Sarraf’s selection.

“He will run OVL efficiently,” says a well wisher. “Sarraf is a capable man and professionally very sound.

His integrity is solid.” Our source expects the oil ministry to move quickly to clear Sarraf’s appointment by mid-August, at the latest.

One observer wonders why Sarraf chose to move from India’s most valued state-owned company to its less visible subsidiary. “Sarraf is a no-nonsense guy,” we hear.

“He will be a good leader for OVL. At ONGC he was just another director reporting to the chairman but at OVL he will have three directors (finance, exploration and commercial) all reporting to him.