Govt accuses Mukesh Ambani’s RIL, others of gas theft, HC seeks response; here’s all you need to know

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Updated: Dec 08, 2018 11:34 AM

The government has accused Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries (RIL) and its partners of "unjust enrichment" of over $1.729 billion.

The government has accused Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries (RIL) and its partners of "unjust enrichment" of over $1.729 billionThe government has accused Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL) and its partners of “unjust enrichment” of over $1.729 billion

The government has accused Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL) and its partners of “unjust enrichment” of over $1.729 billion by siphoning gas from deposits they had no right to exploit. On government’s petition, the Delhi High Court on Friday sought a response from RIL and UK-based BP Plc and Niko Resources of Canada. The matter will be heard on December 15.

Here’s All You Need To Know About The Case

  • It began on November 4, 2016, when the oil ministry slapped a demand of $1.47 billion on the RIL-BP-Niko for “unfairly” producing natural gas belonging to ONGC. The government claimed that the consortium produced about 338.332 million British thermal units of gas that migrated or seeped from adjoining ONGC blocks into RIL’s KG-D6 block.
  • RIL’s KG-D6 block and ONGC’s blocks are adjoining in the Bay of Bengal.
  • However, earlier this year, an international arbitration tribunal rejected the government’s claim and also awarded $8.3 million in compensation to the consortium.
  • RIL is the operator of the KG-D6 block with 60% interest while BP holds 30% and Niko Resources owns 10%.
  • The government is now asking the Delhi HC to set aside the order of the international arbitration.
  • Appearing for the government, Attorney General KK Venugopal said that “the award strikes at the heart of the public policy and has given a premium to a contractor (RIL) that has amassed vast wealth by committing an insidious fraud as well as a criminal offence…”

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