Oil Ministry Forms Panel to Look for Petronet CEO: Report

Oil Ministry Forms Panel to Look for Petronet CEO: Report

New Delhi: The Oil Ministry has formed a three-member Search Committee to look for replacement of Petronet LNG Ltd chief executive A K Balyan, who it has decided not to give an extension.

Petronet is majority owned by state-owned oil firms Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), GAIL, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) but is registered as a private company and its CEO has always been appointed by a panel of promoter firms.

However, this time around, a three-member panel comprising of ONGC chairman and managing director Dinesh K Sarraf and two independent directors on Petronet's board - Arun Kumar Misra and Sushil Kumar Gupta - has been formed, sources privy to the development said.

While incumbent Mr Balyan's five-year term is till July 15 and he is eligible for an extension till he attains the superannuation age in July 2016, the ministry - whose secretary is the chairman of the company, has decided against giving him an extension.

On March 3 an advertisement was posted inviting applications for the new CEO and candidates with "exceptional leadership qualities, strong negotiation and communications skills and familiarity with finance/project management in large organisation" asked to apply by March 20.

The window for applying for the job has been cut to just two weeks instead of four weeks during previous times, they said.

Mr Balyan, who turns 64 in July, was appointed managing director and CEO of Petronet for a five-year term beginning July 16, 2010, with the condition that it could be extended till his superannuation age of 65 years.

Sources said the ministry is keen to appoint a new head before Oil Secretary Saurabh Chandra retires at the end of April.

The new candidate, however, will take over only from July 16.

Mr Balyan, who was then director for human resources and business development in ONGC, was in May 2010 selected for the top job at Petronet by a panel consisting of the heads of the promoters of the company.

Besides ONGC, Indian Oil Corp, GAIL India Ltd and BPCL hold a 12.5 per cent stake each in the company which operates two LNG import terminals in Gujarat and Kerala. France's GdF holds a 10 per cent stake.

Mr Balyan had replaced Prosad Dasgupta, who took early retirement. Mr Dasgupta's five-year term was to come to an end on August 31, 2010 and he was eligible for a two-year extension till he attained superannuation age of 65 in 2012.

Suresh Mathur, who was the first MD and CEO of the company, was the only one to have served till his superannuation age of 65 years.

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