RIL took natural gas worth Rs 30,000 cr: ONGC claims in HC

RIL took natural gas worth Rs 30,000 cr: ONGC claims in HC

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it suffered losses of gas worth Rs 30,000 crore as a result of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) exploiting gas from its natural gas block in Krishna-Godavari basin.

RIL contended before Justice Manmohan that an independent expert panel can determine whether its gas well is interconnected with that of ONGC and the quantum of gas withdrawn by RIL and other issues raised by the PSU.

The Centre, represented by advocate Neeraj Chaudhari, submitted before the court that as per a meeting held between the two companies and Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), it has been decided to appoint an expert panel.

After going through the minutes of the meeting, the court asked ONGC to file its counter to the same and listed the matter for further hearing on August 12.
As per the minutes of the meeting held on May 23, 2014, it has been decided by ONGC, RIL and DGH to send enquiry notices to four third party consultants prior to appointment of one of them as the expert panel.

It was also decided in the meeting that all data that will be shared with the finally selected independent agency and it will be done through DGH.

After appointment of the independent agency, ONGC, RIL and DGH would work out the project management modalities, the minutes said.

ONGC in its plea has contended that RIL has drawn out 18 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the combined reserves of both companies since 2009.

"The present petition is necessitated in view of bona fide belief on part of the petitioner (ONGC), based on seismic data made available by Respondent 3 (RIL) very recently in 2013-14 which suggests that while exploiting its own block and operating four wells for that purpose, RIL exploited not only natural gas within its Block but has exploited substantial natural gas from Blocks in the control of ONGC," the PSU's petition also said.

ONGC alleged that the current situation arose from lack of vigilance by DGH and Centre and their failure to take precautions resulted in loss of several thousands of crores of rupees. It said DGH should have insisted on joint development of the blocks.

ONGC has claimed that of the said total quantity of gas exploited by RIL from its block adjoining that of the PSU, more than half belongs to it.|

RIL said the blocks were given to it in 2006 and it made the same operational.

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