Vasudeva selected to head ONGC

The Government's headhunters Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) selected Vasudeva, 56, to takeover as Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC after interviewing eight candidates here today, sources in know said.

PESB named R K Tyagi, Chairman and Managing Director, Pawan Hans Ltd Chairman and an ex-ONGC, as its number two choice to head ONGC when the present incumbent R S Sharma retires on January 31, 2011 on attaining superannuation age of 60 years.

Vasudeva is currently Director (Offshore) in ONGC and is incharge of fields like the nation's prime Mumbai High where he has deployed innovative approach and new technology to arrest decline in output from the ageing fields.

Rabi Narayan Bastia, the man who discovered India's biggest gas field, was among the eight candidate who appeared for personal interviews before the PESB board.

Bastia, who quit ONGC in 1996 to join Reliance Industries, is credited with discovering the gigantic Dhirubhai-1 gas field at the Krishna Godavari basin deep-sea block D6 in 2002. It was ranked as the biggest gas find in the world over the last decade.

Sources said that others who appeared before for PESB interview included ONGC Director (Finance) D K Saraf, Oil India Director (Exploration) B N Talukdar, Imperial Energy CEO Ashok Verma and GAIL Executive Director B N Trivedi.

ONGC Videsh Managing Director R S Butola, who along with oil regulator DGH head S K Srivastava were among the 19 candidates applying for the top job at ONGC at close of application in May, did not attend the interview. Butola was last month selected to head Indian Oil Corp.

Srivastava too did not attend the interview today.
Sources said that Vasudeva, who has being trying to put back on track the derailed redevelopment of ageing fields like Mumbai High since taking over as Director (Offshore) on February 1, 2009, will as head of ONGC need to get the company's exploration strategy right.

Oil Minister Murli Deora had at a function in Mumbai yesterday chided ONGC for not discovering enough new reserves. He told an audience, which included whos-who of oil and gas industry in India, that he does not accept dividend cheque from ONGC as the company has not done enough to raise oil and gas output.

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