Controversial former DGH Sibal may be relieved by January

Controversial former DGH Sibal may be relieved by January

New Delhi: Former director general of hydrocarbons (DGH) V.K. Sibal, who was caught in the crossfire between the feuding Ambani brothers, may retire by January next year, said a top petroleum and natural gas ministry official.

As Sibal’s tenure at DGH and his deputation from Oil India Ltd (OIL) ended on 31 October, he has rejoined the organization and has gone on leave.

With Sibal’s extension being rejected, S.K. Srivastava, director of operations at OIL, took additional charge at DGH.

Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Natural Resources Ltd has alleged that DGH, which regulates the production of oil and gas, improperly approved a fourfold increase in capital expenditure by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on the D6 exploration block where Mukesh Ambani-owned RIL made one of the biggest gas discoveries in India.

Both Sibal and RIL have denied allegations of financial favours being bestowed on members of his family. Sibal has consistently denied any wrongdoing on his part.

State-run OIL has asked the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas to forward the vigilance clearance for Sibal, after which he will be allowed to retire, said a top OIL executive. Sibal had sought early retirement from the explorer when he rejoined the public sector firm.

Sibal declined to comment on the development.