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EOGEPL appoints Santosh Chandra as CEO

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New Delhi, Oct 15 (PTI) Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Ltd (EOGEPL), part of Essar's oil and gas business, on Thursday said its board has appointed Santosh Chandra as the new chief executive officer of the firm.

Chandra, a veteran in the global upstream industry, replaces Vilas Tawde who quit the firm to pursue other ambitions.

'Chandra, a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience, has an impressive record in the oil and gas E&P ranging from a start-up and remote field operations to full-field development across onshore, offshore and deep-water settings,' the company said in a statement.

In his current role, he will spearhead EOGEPL's exploration and production (E&P) business to a higher growth trajectory and valuation by designing and implementing a strategic business plan given that CBM gas is the fuel of this century and is high on demand as a clean fuel, it said.

EOGEPL, an investee company of Essar Capital and is India's largest operator of unconventional hydrocarbon acreages.

Essar Capital's investments in EOGEPL are part of its investment portfolio in exploration and production businesses which are increasingly focussed on clean fuels. The coal bed methane (CBM) gas is widely seen as the fuel of this century.

An alumnus of Duke University and Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Chandra started his career with ONGC and has been previously associated with Cairn Energy India in various leadership roles.

Prior to joining Essar, he was the head of development, Uganda, at Tullow Oil Plc, one of the largest independent oil and gas companies in the UK.

B C Tripathi, non-executive chairman, Essar Exploration and Production Mauritius, said, 'We welcome Chandra to the Essar family and firmly believe that he will usher in a wave of superior growth in our CBM business and take it to new highs.' His capabilities are unmatched when it comes to natural resources and the company is proud to have him on board, he said.

Chandra said oil and gas production, especially that of coal bed methane, is not only Essar's priority but also of national importance.

'I am confident that our coal seam gas will emerge as a game-changer in the entire eastern region soon as the Ganga Urja pipeline to Durgapur is commissioned,' he added. PTI ANZ HRS