New Delhi: B N Talukdar will Thursday take over as the new Director General of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons as the government brings back a technocrat to head the upstream advisory arm of the oil ministry.
Talukdar, who currently is director for exploration in Oil India Ltd. (OIL), will replace a bureaucrat at the DGH.
"Government of India has appointed B N Talukdar as the DG, DGH effective from February 6, 2014," an OIL statement said.
DGH, which traditionally was headed by a technocrat, for the first time in its history saw a bureaucrat being appointed as Director General when in June 2012 Rajiv Nayan Choubey, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre was handpicked for the job.
The appointment of a bureaucrat as the head of the highly technical arm of the oil ministry had raised eyebrows then as it was not clear how the selection was made without the post being advertised. There was also no selection panel formed to choose among eligible candidates, it was said then.
Choubey, a post-graduate in Physics, was development commissioner (handlooms) in the ministry of textiles before becoming director general, DGH. He was appointed head of DGH after the then director general, DGH, S K Srivastava moved to OIL as the chairman and managing director.
Srivastava, who was director (operations) at OIL in 2009, was made the temporary head of DGH to replace the controversial V K Sibal, in October 2009. He was formally appointed director general, DGH in February, 2010. Prior to his temporary charge, he was deputy director general, DGH under Sibal.
Talukdar, 59, was selected by a government search panel in August last year and it took more than 6 months for his appointment to be confirmed. He would have exactly a year as the head of DGH.
A petroleum engineering graduate from the prestigious Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, he has been head of OIL's exploration, development, reservoir management and drilling activities since December 2007.
"Talukdar has over 37 years experience in the petroleum industry. He has practiced all exploration, development, reservoir management and drilling activities of OIL. He has also served as Director in charge for all the overseas operating concessions," the statement said.
He is an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, USA and functioned as the President of the Delhi Chapter of SPE. He is also closely associated with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society of Petroleum Geophysicists, it added.