Reliance Natural files new affidavit against Centre

Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL) in a fresh affidavit before the Supreme Court on Tuesday opposed the petition filed by the Centre in the dispute between the Ambani brothers in natural gas supply from Krishna Godavari -6 basin.

‘’RNRL objects to the leave appeal to be granted to Ministry of petroleum and natural gas,’’ said the affidavit filed by Surendra Khot, an official of RNRL.

It said that the petition of the government should not be accepted and it should be rejected like that filed before the Bombay High Court. Centre was an intervener in Bombay High court, whereas it has challenged its decision saying that it was affected by the ruling as natural gas is a public property.

Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL) has entered into 40 production sharing contracts with the government for the exploration of 40 blocks in 400,000 sq km area, the affidavit said.

To supply 28 mmscmd gas to RNRL, it would require to have gas from 330 sq km, the RNRL application said.

Mukesh Ambani-led RIL said it was a mere contractor appointed by the government to explore and harness natural gas from the KG-6 basin and the state remained the real owner.

Resuming his argument before the bench for second day, RIL Advocate Harish Salve, said the company’s role was restricted to interpreting various clauses of its production sharing contract(PSC) with the government and it was bound to supply gas at a price fixed by the government.

The contract empowers the government to do anything with the gas, including the fixing of price and determining the buyer, Salve told the bench.

He said RIL had neither the independent freedom nor the right to fix the price of natural gas, and was only entitled to earn requisite profits from the sale of natural gas. The apex court has been hearing the dispute over natural gas between RIL and Anil Ambani-led RNRL.

The dispute is over the supply of 28 million units of natural gas for 17 years at $2.34 per unit to RNRL from the KG-6 gas fields, off the Andhra Pradesh coast, awarded for exploration and harnessing to Reliance Industries.

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