Former oil secretary Tarun Kapoor has been selected on 3 February to head India's oil and gas regulator PNGRB, sources said. Kapoor, who superannuated as secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on November 30, 2021, was selected to be chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) after interviews of over a dozen candidates.
His candidature will now go to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for ratification and once approved, he would take over. Sources said as many as 13 candidates, including former chairmen of ONGC and a former director of IOC, had applied for the top job at PNGRB. Out of these, the ministry shortlisted seven candidates.
Interviews were held by a search-cum-selection committee headed by V K Saraswat, Member (S&T), Niti Aayog and Kapoor was picked for the top job.
Former Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Chairmen Subhash Kumar and Shashi Shanker as well as G K Satish, who superannuated as Director for planning and business development from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) a couple of months back, had applied for the top job.
Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) Managing Director Saumendra Kumar Barua and Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) Managing Director Asit Kumar Jana were among those who had applied.
The shortlisted candidates for interview included Kumar, Satish, Barua, Jana, Virendra Nath Datt, OSD to chairman of GAIL (India) Ltd and former CPCL MD Surendra Nath Pandey. Shanker was not shortlisted.
Kapoor was selected in response to the government re-advertising the post of chairman, PNGRB, in November.
The committee -- which also comprises secretaries to the ministries of oil and commerce, secretary legal affairs and economic affairs secretary -- had in June 2021 picked up former power secretary Sanjeev Nandan Sahai. But, that appointment was not confirmed and so the post was re-advertised.
Other candidates interviewed on June 2 included retired bureaucrat Avinash Kumar Srivastava, former ONGC chairman Shashi Shanker and former ONGC director Sanjay Kumar Moitra. The post of chairman, PNGRB, has been lying vacant since December 4, 2020, when Dinesh K Sarraf completed his three-year term.
The Board, which comprises four members besides the chairman, is almost defunct with just one serving member. Former GAIL directors Gajendra Singh and A K Tiwari are currently the two members of the PNGRB.