The 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of energy major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) witnessed massive zeal and enthusiasm from the shareholders. Over 400 shareholders from different parts of the country, registered at the meeting held on 30 August 2019, at the AICTE auditorium in New Delhi.
The shareholders appreciated the organization of the AGM and the professional manner with which it was conducted. Many shareholders praised the personal involvement of CMD Mr. Shashi Shanker in the management of the AGM. According to the shareholders, the organization of the event was quite grand, much beyond statutory requirements.
Chaired by ONGC Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Mr Shashi Shanker, the meeting was also graced by Director (Finance) Subhash Kumar, Director (Offshore) Rajesh Kakkar, Director (Onshore) Sanjay Kumar Moitra, Director (T&FS) Navin Chandra Pandey, Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal and Rajesh Director (Exploration) Kumar Srivastava. Also present in the meeting were Government nominee Directors Mr Amar Nath, Joint Secretary (E) and Independent Directors – Mr Ajai Malhotra, Mr KM Padmanabhan, Mr Deepak Sethi, Mr Sumit Bose, Mr Vivek Mallya, Dr Santrupt Mishra, Mrs Ganga Murthy and Mr Amitabh Bhattacharya.
The 26th AGM commenced with the welcome note by Company Secretary Mr MEV Selvamm. It was followed by a detailed and informative speech by CMD Mr Shashi Shanker.
CMD Mr Shanker said that the Fiscal Year 2019 has proved to be a strong year for energy markets across the Board. He said that the Board’s Report, Audited Annual Reports, Auditors’ Report and Management Discussion & Analysis Report have been published in the public domain.
Mr Shanker mentioned that Brent Crude prices averaged almost 30% higher in 2018 compared to 2017. However, he also stated that though the prices for the entire year were higher, there were significant swings too. He pointed out that the price of the barrel of crude dipped in 2018, due to trade tensions.
Speaking on ONGC’s performance in the last year, Mr Shanker said 13 discoveries were made – eight on-lands and five in off-shore areas. He stated that the company saw the highest ever Gas Production of 24,.5 BCM in FY’ 19 and highest ever production rate of 71 MMSCM. He further mentioned that 516 wells were drilled last year – which is the highest number in the last 28 years. Mr Shanker said that ‘Nil’ comments from C&AG and Statutory Auditors for the 13th consecutive times reflect on the company’s high standard of Governance framework. The ONGC CMD also lauded the record best performances by ONGC Videsh and ONGC’s two subsidiaries HCPL and MRPL.
Mr Shanker also lauded the recognition of ONGC’s operational excellence in the global platforms. Mentioning the awards and recognitions of the company, he said:
- ONGC was ranked 1st in E&P category and 21st overall in Platts 250 Global Energy Ranking
- ONGC was ranked 3rd in India and 220th worldwide in Forbes Global 2000
- ONGC went up 37 notches, to secure 160th position at Fortune Global 500
- IPSHEM, Goa was conferred with the prestigious Energy and Environment Foundation Global Environment Award 2018
- ONGC won Best Innovative Practices for Women at Workplace at 2nd Gender Equality Summit
Mr Shanker also appreciated the ONGCians for raising the equity infusion of the company by 2600 times – from original equity of Rs 343 crore to over Rs 9 lakh crore till March 2019.
Speaking on the e-voting by shareholders, Mr Shanker said that e-voting, being paperless is also environment friendly. The results of the e-voting will be uploaded on the ONGC website within 48 hours.
Stating that around 80% of the shareholders got the Annual Report through e mail, Mr Shanker urged all shareholders to register their respective email IDs for digital distribution of Annual Report.
The major suggestions and the concerns raised by the shareholders during the Q&A session were:
- How will the Solar Chulha initiative of ONGC be helpful and when solar stoves will be available in the market for all?
- Shareholders appreciated ONGC receiving interest on delayed payment from its customers has increased by 10 fold. Shareholders suggested similar actions be taken by ONGC while making payments to vendors too.
- Pointing out that the company’s physical and financial figures are excellent, the shareholders raised concerns over why share prices are still stagnant.
- Shareholders suggested ONGC to increase Gas production as the future economy is based on Gas.
- They suggested that Oil discoveries can be named after the unsung heroes of the country.
- The ordinary shareholders asked ONGC to look into increasing the wealth of the shareholders, as even buy-back does not improve share price.
- Shareholders also raised questions on why the company is continuing with its subsidiaries that are making losses.
CMD Mr Shashi Shanker appreciated the shareholders for raising relevant questions and giving useful suggestions. He asserted that the Board will look into every suggestions brought forward by the shareholders.
He responded to most of the suggestions. On Energy Chulha, the CMD said that the costs of the solar stoves are very high – around Rs 70-80 thousand per chulha. He asserted the solar stoves will be available on the markets once the price comes down.
He said that ONGC is one of the best paymasters to vendors. Regarding the increase in production, Mr Shanker said that the major Crude Oil production comes from Brown Fields (Old fields over 30-40 years vintage). To increase the production from the old fields ONGC is undertaking several redevelopment projects among which 3 projects, costing Rs 13,000 crore, has been completed. He asserted that the production will increase by 5% in the coming year.
It was concluded with a vote of thanks by Independent Director Mr KM Padmanabhan.