Dinesh K. Sarraf will be the new chairman and managing director of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), the nation's most profitable company.
Mr. Sarraf, who is currently managing director of ONGC's overseas arm, ONGC Videsh Ltd, has been selected to replace Sudhir Vasudeva in February-end next year.
Government headhunter Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) selected Mr. Sarraf, who turns 56 next week, from among four candidates who appeared before it for interviews today.
"PESB recommended the following name for the post of chairman & managing director, ONGC Limited - D.K. Sarraf," it said on its website.
Originally, PESB had shortlisted seven candidates. Besides Mr. Sarraf, these included state gas utility GAIL India chairman and managing director B.C. Tripathi, ONGC director (T&FS) Shashi Shanker, Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India head M.S. Rana and Indian Railways chief mechanical engineer Ashwani Lohani.
Mr. Tripathi did not attend the interviews that happened at PESB office today morning.
The PESB said it interviewed four candidates - Mr. Sarraf, Shashi Shanker, Lohani and Coal India director (personnel) R. Mohan Das.
The PESB recommendation will now go the Oil Ministry and once Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily concurs, CVC and CBI clearances will be sought. Upon being cleared, Mr. Sarraf's candidature will then be forwarded to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC).
Mr. Sarraf was director (finance), ONGC, before moving to OVL in September 2011. He transformed the company into an aggressive overseas firm, stitching four deals worth over $11 billion in the past one year.
Earlier this week, OVL announced buying US energy major Anadarko Petroleum Corp's 10 per cent stake in a giant Mozambique gas field for $2.64 billion. This deal came on top of the $2.475 billion deal announced in June to buy Videocon's 10 per cent stake in the same field, which may hold as much as 65 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas resources.
OVL, which since inception had invested $17 billion in 32 assets in 15 countries till 2011, has struck over $11 billion worth of deals in the past one year under Mr. Sarraf.
Mr. Sarraf holds a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi. He is also a member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
As head of ONGC, his immediate task would be to raise the stagnant oil and gas output and aggressively look for more reserves.