Shashi Shankar, Director (T&FS), Oil and Natural Gas Corp was suspended last evening, top ministry sources said. The suspension follows allegations of irregularities in the BOP tender when he was General Manager (Drilling).
A blowout preventer (BOP) is a large, specialised valve or similar mechanical device, usually installed redundantly in stacks, used to seal, control and monitor oil and gas wells. The value of the tender in question was no more than Rs 23 crore, sources said.
The Ministry wrote to Shankar last evening that a disciplinary proceeding against him is being contemplated. "The competent authority in exercise of the powers conferred under ONGC Conduct, Discipline and Appeal Rules, 1994, has placed Shashi Shankar, director (T&FS) ONGC, under suspension with immediate effect," the company said in a regulatory filing.
Shankar, who turns 54 on Monday, is the youngest director on the board of the nation's most profitable oil company. He was appointed director (technical and field services) on December 1, 2012.

While the filing did not spell out the exact reason for the move, sources said he has been suspended to conduct an impartial probe in the matter.
An official is normally suspended in circumstances where he or she can influence the course of an investigation in alleged irregularity against him or her. As Director (T&FS), Shankar was incharge of all drilling and field operations including tendering. Vigilance department will probe into the irregularities.
Shankar was unavailable for comment. This is the first director of ONGC to be suspended since the explorer became a company in 1994.

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