Oil minister clears new OVL chief

Written by Siddhartha P Saikia | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 15 2014, 13:41pm hrs
The petroleum ministry has recommended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed Appointed Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) the name of Narendra Kumar Verma for the post of managing director of ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas subsidiary of oil and gas major ONGC.

The ministry has received the clerance from Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). Following this, Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of state (independent charge) for petroleum and natural gas has sent the recommendation to ACC last week, a senior ministry official told FE.

Other than Modi, minister for home affairs Raj Nath Singh is member of the ACC. After the appointment is given a go-ahead by the Cabinet panel, Verma would be holding the post till January 2019.

Verma, 55, who is currently exploration director with ONGC, was selected by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) for the position in May. The post of OVL's managing director is vacant after Dinesh K Sarraf joined as the Chairman of the ONGC group.

Verma emerged as the topper among about 15 candidates interviewed by PESB .Other directors from the government-run explorer such as director (technology and field services) Shashi Shanker and OVL director (finance) and acting managing director Satpal Garg were also on the race.

However, 53-years old Shanker did not appear for the interview. Other candidates for the top post were Vikas Tayal, S K Moitra and A Balachandran, executive directors at ONGC; Rajiv Khanna, executive director of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and bureaucrat V Srinivas.

Verma may also compete for the post of chairman and managing director of ONGC after Sarraf retires. He is currently spearheading development of ONGC's block in the KG basin.

Moreover, the director has been working to monetise small and marginal discoveries made by the explorer across different basins.