US-based consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) gave only a technical report on the Reliance Industries-ONGC row over the alleged theft of gas from the state-run firm’s block in the KG basin, which means the judicial and financial implications of the dispute still needed to assessed, feels the government.
While RIL questions the jurisdiction of the A P Shah panel set up by the petroleum ministry in this connection and wants the dispute to be solved via arbitration, the ministry is of the firm view that a resolution should be based on the Shah panel’s inputs.
The D&M study is reported to have said that nearly 11.1 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas migrated from ONGC’s G4PML and 98/2 discoveries to the RIL acreage. Of this, the private explorer is believed to have commercially drilled nearly 8.2 bcm of gas and sold it to customers.
“The D&M gives technical conclusion. And all the stakeholders were part of the exercise. Now, the government needs to review the judicial and financial implications of the D&M findings. Therefore, an independent panel has been set up to vet these parameters,” a top official at the ministry told FE. “If they (RIL) wanted to go for arbitration, why they did not tell the same to the court?” the official asked. ONGC moved the Delhi High Court alleging theft of its gas by RIL by way of drilling wells close to its block. The KG-D6 block started producing hydrocarbon in 2009. ONGC has not produced oil or gas from its block. On September 10, the Delhi High Court disposed of ONGC’s petition and directed the government to take a decision within six months after it receives a report from an independent panel.
According to the ministry, the committee will consider “legal, financial and contractual provision including those contained in oilfields regulations and development act, petroleum and natural gas rules and concerned production sharing contracts (PSC) etc”, and recommend “action to be taken” by the government based on the consultant’s report.
“The committee’s terms of reference also includes quantifying any ‘unfair enrichment’ to RIL, the actors of the adjacent block KG-DWN-98/3 and recommend measures to prevent such eventualities due to gas migration in future,” petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan earlier told FE, Also, the Shah committee would delve into any acts of omission and commission on part of the stakeholders including RIL, ONGC, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and the government.
Oil min wants to decide on alleged gas theft based on A P Shah panel’s recommendations
Shah panel to consider legal, financial and contractual provisions
If RIL wanted to go for arbitration, why did the firm not tell this to the Delhi HC, asks government
D&M technical study said nearly 11.1 bcm of gas migrated from ONGC to RIL area