New Delhi: The government may for the first time in the history of DGH appoint a senior bureaucrat to head the highly specialised oil and gas advisory arm of the oil ministry.
The Oil Ministry on Monday gave additional charge of Director General, DGH (Directorate General of Hydrocarbons), to A Giridhar, Joint Secretary in-charge of Exploration, after the present head S K Srivastava moved to Oil India Ltd as Chairman and Managing Director.
Sources said while Giridhar, an IAS officer of 1988 batch from the Andhra Pradesh cadre, would hold temporary charge till the time a full-time DG, DGH, is appointed through a selection committee, the ministry is veering towards the idea of having a bureaucrat as the full-time head.
In appointing Giridhar, the ministry ignored senior Directors of state-owned Oil India Ltd, who has given all of the three DGs of DGH.
Sources said B N Talukdar, Director (Exploration), OIL and S Rath, Director (Operation), OIL were inclined to accepting the responsibility of DG, DGH. Rath had had a stint in DGH but the ministry choose to give charge to Giridhar.
According to the April 8, 1993, Cabinet resolution that created DGH, the body is to provide "technical advice to the ministry on issues relevant to the exploration and optimal exploitation of hydrocarbons".
It was tasked to review exploration programmes, reassess the hydrocarbon reserves discovered, advise on offering of acreage for exploration, review the development plans for commercial discoveries and review and audit concurrently the management of petroleum reservoirs by operating companies.
Sources said the ministry is veering towards the idea of having a bureaucrat as the full-time DG, DGH, considering the controversies that the upstream supervisory body created in the past few years.
While V K Sibal, who was DG between 2004 and 2009, was accused of impropriety, Srivastava was considered industry unfriendly.
Joint Secretary (Exploration) of the Oil Ministry attends the meetings of the oversight panels, called Management Committee, of high-profile blocks like Reliance Industries' eastern offshore KG-D6 and Cairn India's Rajasthan block.
DG is the chairman of the MC and it remains to be seen how this clash of interest when the administrative head also happens to be the head of the body which is supposed to give technical inputs, is sorted out.
Srivastava, who moved to OIL after being appointed Chairman and Managing Director, was made the temporary head of DGH to replace the controversial V K Sibal, in October 2009.
He was formally appointed DG, DGH in February 2010. Prior to his temporary charge, he was Deputy, DG, DGH under Sibal.