Setting aside the ongoing speculation over Reliance Industries Ltd being denied the higher gas price from April 1, 2014, petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily on Thursday said the new gas pricing policy will apply uniformly to all.
"There are no grey areas. The policy which we have adopted (based) on the recommendation of the Rangarajan Committee will be applicable to everyone," he told reporters on sidelines of the Global Health Safety and Environment Conference organised by Cairn India.
However, Moily refused to be drawn into the issue of RIL being denied a higher price of gas produced from its main fields in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block till the dispute over the reasons for output not matching targets is resolved.
Asked if the new price of about $8.4 per unit (or million British thermal unit) will not apply to RIL's currently producing D1&D3 fields that have produced much less than target, he said, "Don't ask (me that). When I said (price will apply uniformly) did I qualify?" Pressed further if the pricing of gas based on the average of rates at international hubs and actual cost of imported LNG would apply to all domestic producers uniformly, Moily said: "Yes".
The petroleum ministry is mulling applying the current rate of $4.2 per mmBtu for gas produced from Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) fields even after expiry of the current term on March 31, 2014.
The ministry wants to find who is right and till then it is mulling if the new price should not apply to D1&D3 fields.
The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) believes output from D1&D3 fell to 10 million standard cubic metres per day from 53-54 mmscmd achieved in March 2010 because RIL did not drill its committed number of wells.
RIL, on the other hand, blames unforeseen geological complexities for the fall in output and believes the reserves in D1&D3 are actually less than one-third of 10.03 trillion cubic feet predicted two years before the field began output in April 2009.