People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 14, 2007
CITU To Resist Diversion Of ONGC Rigs To Private Companies
THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly opposed the reported move by Director General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) to divert ONGC’s rigs to private sector companies in oil/gas exploration under the cover of “Rig Pool”.
In a statement issued on January 10, 2006, the CITU expressed its deep concern on such a move, which has been reinitiated ostensibly to put pressure on ONGC which had in early 2006 categorically refused to share its rigs with their competitors in private sector like M/s Reliance, Essar and others. ONGC’s strength lies in the fact that it operates a fleet of 30 offshore rigs, some owned and rest contracted as against only 3 offshore rigs operated by M/s Reliance. CITU declared that it would oppose any move to bail out the work programme of private operators, through ONGC.
The CITU asked the DGH to explain how on one hand he is threatening to withdraw some blocks from ONGC because of its failure to meet work programme commitments and on the other hand forcing ONGC to divert its rig to other operators, which would further slow down the work programme of ONGC. It urged the government to seek clarification from DGH how blocks were to be awarded to private operators without ascertaining whether they were having necessary back up strength to fulfill the works programme and why the claims of a private operators of deep water gas production in KG Basin by 2008 was not questioned when rigs were not available with them.
The CITU warned the government that any diversion of rig from ONGC to private operators on extraneous reasons would be resisted and called upon the employees of ONGC to be vigilant on the score. (INN)