CCEA accepts suggestions on award of 4 CBM blocks to ADAG-led consortium

New Delhi, Sept 29 | Updated: Sep 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Friday accepted the recommendations of the special empowered committee of secretaries (ECS) under Cabinet secretary, BK Chaturvedi, on award of four coal bed methane (CBM) blocks to an Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group-led consortium.

Three blocks have been awarded to a consortium led by Australias Arrow Energy, while one block was awarded to British Petroleum and two to Coalgas.

Chaturvedi-led ECS had ruled out any foul play in the award of the 10 under the third round of CBM offering as alleged by the ADAG that the DGH had made changes in bid parameters after the bids were closed.

Moreover, RNRL had also stated the government could end up losing around Rs 2,100 crore in revenue by awarding the blocks to the Arrow-led consortium.

The petroleum ministry had, however, denied the charge.

The CCEA cleared the recommendations of the ECS and gave its nod to the basis of award of blocks made by the directorate general of hydrocarbons and the previous ECS under petroleum secretary MS Srinivasan.

The government had earlier deferred the award of these blocks owing to charges by RNRL of last-minute changes in the evaluation norms. As the bid evaluation done earlier was by an ECS headed by one secretary, that too from the petroleum ministry, the government had decided to refer the issue back to the empowered committee of secretaries noting that a fresh technical evaluation be done by the full committee.