Reliance Industries row: Oil Ministry rebukes ONGC for making 'frivolous allegations' against govt

Aug 18 2014, 20:08 IST
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Govt reacts to row with Reliance Industries, says ONGC 'was never vigilant and mindful of rights'. (Reuters) Govt reacts to row with Reliance Industries, says ONGC 'was never vigilant and mindful of rights'. (Reuters)
SummaryONGC alleged govt didn't do enough to protect its rights against Reliance Industries.

Rebuking ONGC for making "frivolous allegations" against the government, the Petroleum Ministry has told the Delhi High Court that the state-owned firm woke up from slumber to allege that its gas may be flowing out of its wells into those of Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries (RIL)' KG-D6 fields.

Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) had on May 15 filed a petition in the Delhi High Court alleging that Reliance Industries may have drawn natural gas worth thousands of crores of rupees from its fields that sit next to Mukesh Ambani-run firm's KG-D6 block Krishna Godavari basin.

It made the Government of India as well as Oil Ministry's technical arm DGH respondents alleging they didn't do enough to protect its right.

The Ministry in a counter affidavit filed last week stated that ONGC "never raised any issue on connectivity of reservoirs/channels" ever since it was granted mining lease of the Godavari PML Block (G-4) in 2008 and even when RIL started production from KG-D6 in April 2009.

"The petitioner (ONGC) woke up from slumber only in July 2013, when he requested the government to provide the G&G (Geological and Geophysical) data that too to analyse the continuity of the pool," it said.

The Ministry sought rejection of the petition on the ground that ONGC "was never vigilant and mindful of rights" and "cannot now turn around and make frivolous allegations against the Government of India."

It said ONGC had prayed for appointment of an independent agency to establish continuity of reservoir across between its G-4 and KG-DWN-98/2 blocks and RIL's KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block.

The writ petition of ONGC has become "infructuous pursuant to the appointment of the independent agency ie DeGolyer & MacNaughton (D&M)" on July 3, it said.

A similar counter-affidavit was also filed by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).

The Ministry stated that when ONGC brought the matter to its notice, it along with DGH undertook all necessary efforts to resolve the matter amicably and various meetings have been conducted leading to RIL agreeing to appoint an independent technical agency to ascertain connectivity of reservoirs across ONGC and KG-D6 block.

"Hence the petition is pre-mature and should be dismissed on that short score," it said.

RIL has already countered ONGC's claim of gas worth Rs 30,000 crore flowing from its fields to the neighbouring KG-D6 block, saying legal proceedings initiated against

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