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Dinesh K Sarraf will be the new chairman and managing director of Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Sarraf, who is currently MD of ONGC’s overseas arm, ONGC Videsh, has been selected to replace Sudhir Vasudeva in February end next year.
Government headhunter Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) selected Sarraf, who turns 56 next week, from among four candidates. “PESB recommended the following name for the post of chairman & managing director, ONGC — DK Sarraf,” it said on its website.
PESB had shortlisted seven candidates. Besides Sarraf, these included GAIL India chairman and managing director BC Tripathi, ONGC director (T&FS) Shashi Shanker, Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India head MS Rana and Indian Railways chief mechanical engineer Ashwani Lohani.
Tripathi did not attend the interviews that happened at PESB office on Friday morning. PESB said it interviewed four candidates — Sarraf, Shashi Shanker, Lohani and Coal India director (personnel) R Mohan Das.
The PESB recommendation will now go the oil ministry and once oil minister M Veerappa Moily concurs, CVC and CBI clearances will be sought. Upon being cleared, Sarraf’s candidature will then be forwarded to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC).
Sarraf was director (finance), ONGC before moving to OVL in September 2011. He transformed the company into an aggressive overseas firm, stitching four deals worth over $11 billion in the past one year.
Earlier this week, Sarraf-led OVL announced buying US energy major Anadarko Petroleum Corp’s 10% stake in a giant Mozambique gas field for $2.64 billion. This deal came on top of the $2.475 billion deal announced in June to buy Videocon’s 10% stake in the same field, which may hold as much as 65 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas resources.
As head of ONGC, his immediate task would be to raise the stagnant oil and gas output and aggressively look for more reserves.