Reliance Industries-ONGC gas theft row: Report set to get delayed

By: | Published: July 29, 2016 6:36 AM

The petroleum ministry is expected to take the final decision on the accusations levied by ONGC of RIL stealing gas from its block based on the Shah panel recommendations.

The petroleum ministry is expected to take the final decision on the accusations levied by ONGC of RIL stealing gas from its block based on the Shah panel recommendations.The petroleum ministry is expected to take the final decision on the accusations levied by ONGC of RIL stealing gas from its block based on the Shah panel recommendations.

The report of the AP Shah panel looking into the migration of natural gas from ONGC’s idling Krishna Godavari fields to the RIL’s adjoining KG-D6 block will be delayed by a month.

“Justice Shah has sought more time and now the report is expected by August 30,” a senior government official told FE, referring to the earlier schedule to submit the report by this month-end. Shah, a former Delhi High Court chief justice, was given the task on December 16 last year.

The petroleum ministry is expected to take the final decision on the accusations levied by ONGC of RIL stealing gas from its block based on the Shah panel recommendations.

The one-member Shah panel was set up by the government on December 15, 2015, to recommend the action it needs to take on the issue, following a report by US-based consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) which stated that as much as 11.122 billion cubic metres of natural gas had migrated from ONGC’s 98/2 area to the adjoining KG-D6 block of RIL.

ONGC, while making a strong case, cited a decade-old D&M document titled “Appraisal report as of March 31, 2003 on KG-DWN-98/3 (Canadian policy no 2-B Case)” which brings to limelight that RIL and its foreign partner Niko Resources were aware of the possible migration of gas. It was Niko which appointed D&M to study the development plan for KG-D6 based on the data provided by RIL.

D&M, which relied on the data being provided to it and without carrying out a new survey, opined that “the OGIP (original gas in place) and associated reserves that are located “off” (RIL-Niko’s) KG-DWN-98/3 block have been included as possible reserves attributable to development of KG-DWN-98/3.”

The consultancy firm, according to sources, also indicated that the reserves “off” the KG-D6 block could belong to KG-OS-IG, a pre-NELP nomination area of ONGC.

ONGC had moved the Delhi HC 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 any oil or gas from its block. On September 10, the Delhi HC 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.

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