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Ministry raps ONGC, bonus under cloud

business Updated: May 05, 2009 00:11 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
New Delhi

Continuous fall in its crude oil production over the last three years may force Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to cut down the performance-related incentives to its employees.

A senior petroleum ministry official told Hindustan Times that at a recent performance review meeting of ONGC on April 16, the company was pulled up by the ministry for yet another drop in its crude oil production for 2008-09.

The official said that ONGC has been told that if the internal crude oil production targets (7.4 million tonnes) set by it for the first quarter of 2009-10 are not achieved, “it may consider whether the performance related incentives are to be granted to all officials for the period.”

The top management of ONGC has been asked to hold consultations with its field officers for increasing production and to meet the internal targets of 29.54 million tonnes for 2009-10.

ONGC’s crude oil production has been on a decline for the last three successive years beginning 2006-07.

While the annual performance results of ONGC for 2008-09 are yet to be made public, a petroleum ministry official said that ONGC’s crude oil production for 2008-09 is down by nearly 3 per cent at 25.4 million tonnes from 26 million tonnes during 2007-08.

“We have a board meeting tomorrow,” said ONGC chairman and managing director RS Sharma. “I cannot comment on the production numbers.”

ONGC also drew flak from the ministry for not putting into production scores of discoveries announced by it. Out of 111 discoveries made by ONGC since 2002, as many as 66 discoveries (40 offshore and 26 onshore) are yet to be put into production.

“Only 45 discoveries have been put into production by ONGC,” the official said adding that ONGC has been asked to quantify the oil and gas production in 2008-09 accrued from these 45 discoveries as a percentage of total production of oil and gas in 2008-09.

For the balance 66, the company has been asked to submit an action plan indicating the time frame for commencing production.