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Reliance flays ONGC

FRICTION POINT

Mumbai, May 23: Reliance Industries Ltd today hit out at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation for moving the Delhi high court and said this might be the handiwork of some elements within the company who were “misleading” its chairman and managing director D.K. Sarraf.

ONGC had on May 15 moved the Delhi high court alleging that RIL might have drawn natural gas worth thousands of crores of rupees from its fields that were adjacent to the KG-D6 block.

“We deny the claim of apparent theft of gas from (ONGC’s) G4 and KG-DWN-98/2 Block by RIL and can only attribute it to the likelihood of some elements in ONGC misleading the new CMD Sarraf, in order to hide their own failure to develop discoveries made over the last 13 years in these blocks,” RIL said in a statement.

The Mukesh Ambani-flagship, however, did not name the “elements” within the corporation.

Sarraf had on May 20 stated that ONGC had sued RIL to protect its commercial interest.

ONGC is of the opinion that RIL’s D6-A5, D6-A9 and D6-A13 wells drilled close to the block boundary may be draining gas from its G-4 field of the Godavari block, while the D6-B8 well may be draining gas from the DWN-D-1 field of its KG-DWN-98/2 block.

RIL maintains that ever since ONGC approached it over the issue in August 2013, the company has been engaged in the process of appointing an independent agency to investigate possible reservoir connectivity across the blocks.

Officials of the two companies had met on May 9 and exchanged drafts regarding the scope of work to be assigned to a third party.

“Since the process of appointing this agency according to international practice was already well underway it is indeed unfortunate that some elements in ONGC forced invocation of the Delhi high court at this juncture,’’ RIL added.

RIL sources said such a dispute was not uncommon in the global oil and gas industry and they were solved through third party experts rather than public posturing.

“In any case, ONGC having already filed a petition in the Delhi high court, we would have expected greater restraint in a matter that has been made sub-judice by them,” RIL observed.

 
 
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