Our Bureau

Mumbai, Nov. 3

ONGC, which operates a sizeable fleet of offshore supply vessels to support its offshore oil exploration activities, is likely to get a berth as member on the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA), the torchbearer of the domestic shipping industry.

Sources said INSA is likely to approve the membership for ONGC soon.

ONGC has been trying to get into INSA for quite some time, but the Ministry of Petroleum was not too warm to this proposal. Now, with the Ministry accepting ONGC's proposal, the decks have been cleared for its entry into INSA, the sources said.

INSA, which has become a rallying force for all shipping companies with its commitment to promote the overall development of the industry, is generally quite tightfisted as far as giving membership to non-shipowners is concerned. Some time ago, a clutch of foreign dredging companies had sought entry into the body, but INSA had refused to grant membership to them.

ONGC's entry into INSA is expected to help both the shipping companies, especially those that are in the offshore services sector, and ONGC.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 4, 2006)
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