ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), the overseas investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), has urged the government to upgrade it as a 'Schedule A' company from its current 'Schedule B' company status.
In a letter to the petroleum ministry, OVL Managing Director RS Butola said, "By upgradation in the schedule status, OVL's international image and stature vis-a-vis international partners shall enhance considerably, which would support OVL in carrying the task mandated by the government to augment the energy security of the nation. Further, it would be able to attract and retain the best talent available in public sector enterprises (PSEs) that is otherwise constrained at the moment because of it being a Schedule 'B' company."
The pay scale of Schedule 'B' directors is lower than that of executives below the board of schedule 'A' PSEs like ONGC and Oil India (OIL). Butola pointed out that OVL has performed qualitatively better than many other PSEs, which were in the Schedule 'A' list from various sectors across the world. "Even among its cognate group companies, OVL is ahead of another Schedule 'A' company, namely OIL across several parameters," he added.
Butola said OVL is the second largest Indian exploration and production PSE in terms of reserves and production of hydrocarbons, next only to ONGC and the first and only Indian international exploration and production (E&P) company to produce equity oil and gas abroad. He said OVL does not need any budgetary support from the government and has the capability to raise significant international borrowings based on its portfolio of assets.
"OVL has acquired extensive experience working with international E&P giants as partners in projects like Exxon Mobil and Rosneft in Sakhalin-I, British Petroleum, Petronas and CNPC in the Greater Nile Oil Project among others," he added.