The government is going to monitor oilfields of ONGC and Oil India and ordered setting up separate committees led by a bureaucrat for supervision as part of its broader plan to make these firms more accountable and boost output from their ageing fields that contribute 70% of India’s crude output.
The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), the technical arm of the oil ministry, has ordered the constitution of the ‘review committees for the purpose of management of oil and gas resources of nomination fields’ of ONGC and Oil India respectively’.
Each committee will be chaired by the Director General of DGH and include another official of DGH, and top executives of the oil company, according to the 25th May order. ONGC and Oil India must name their nominees within a fortnight of the order.
The committee has the power to review all key matters such as annual work programmes and budgets for exploration, development and production, field development plans of commercial discoveries, and performance of producing or non-producing fields. The panel would also review collaboration with licensees or contractors of other areas.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan recently told that the fields nominated to ONGC and Oil India didn’t attract much official scrutiny in the past, and his plan now was to closely monitor these fields and make companies more accountable.