Sarraf named as new ONGC head

Replaced: ONGC's existing chairman Sudhir Vasudeva (above) is expected to be replaced by Dinesh K Sarraf in February

ONGV Videsh boss set to replace Vasudeva as chairman in February

Dinesh K Sarraf is poised to be the new chairman and managing director of Indian state-owned E&P giant Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and is likely to replace the existing chairman Sudhir Vasudeva in February next-year.

India’s Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) selected Sarraf for the top ONGC post through a selection process, which concluded on 30 August.

“PESB recommended the following name for the post of chairman and managing director, ONGC Limited -- D K Sarraf,” the selection board said on its website.

Sarraf, who turned 56 a day before (3 September), is currently the managing director of ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas arm of the Indian explorer. During his tenure at OVL, Sarraf has been instrumental in clinching multi-billion international oil and gas deals in the last one-year.

Only last month, OVL clinched an additional 10% stake in the Area 1 offshore block in Mozambique for $2.64 billion.

PSEB interviewed a total of four candidates for the coveted post, but selected Sarraf considering his previous experience in the oil & gas industry.

Sarraf was earlier the finance director for ONGC and sources suggest that his keen understanding of finance would have given him an edge over other contenders.

The PESB recommendation will now go the Oil Ministry and once Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily concurs, Central Vigilance Commission and Central Bureau of Investigation clearances will be sought, reported the Press Trust of India.

Once cleared, Sarraf's candidature will then be forwarded to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments, the report added.

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