Fragment of an interview with Sudhir Vasudeva, ONGC’s Chairman and Managing Director
April 19: ONGC’s Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Vasudeva is a workaholic. Running the Maharatna company at the best of times isn’t an easy job. And now in these challenging times, Vasudeva has his task cut out. “I get up at 5 every morning, after my exercise, I am in the office till 10 in the night and then at home I am buried in the files, till I fall asleep”, this is the work schedule of the man who heads India’s largest Public Sector Unit. Vasudeva, the straight speaking CMD has recently had the honour of being appointed to the Board of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) by the UN Secretary General, BAN Ki-moon for a period of three years. He becomes the first business leader from an Indian PSU to join the elite UNGC Board. In an exclusive interview with Indianpetro’s Nishit Shukla, Vasudeva talks candidly about several key issues including ONGC’s reserve accretion, NELP rounds, Open Acreage Licensing System, OVL’s acquisitions and a lot more. Following are the excerpts from the interview:
On Imperial Energy:
No, we are not saying that we will not invest. We are only holding it back. We are studying the field. One thing is certain, the reserves are there, but the field has turned out to be much more difficult than we had initially thought, both in terms of the environment being more hostile than we had thought and the field being very difficult. The total reserves are spread in 16-17 fields, so we decided to focus on just a few. As long as we don’t have some clarity on this, we will not spend money. The second problem is ‘netback’. The taxation issue of the Government of Russia, the mineral extraction tax and other taxes, all put together, our netback is very less--just $20/barrel. If we take out our cost of production of $13/barrel, then we are left with just $6-7/barrel. Now in $6-7/barrel, you cannot take up massive investment in exploration or development. So we have taken this issue up with the Russian Government. Till these things are sorted out, we will continue with the minimum production.