The government on Thursday rejected the demand for nationalisation of Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) gas fields. “The old days of nationalisation are gone,” Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said in reply to a call attention motion by CPI (M) member Tapan Sen in Rajya Sabha.
Earlier, cutting across party lines, members of Parliament expressed concern over the dispute and said the private contractor Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) should not be allowed to enter into a memorandum of understanding for
distribution of gas, a national asset.
Deora said the government-approved price of gas of $4.20 per unit being produced from RIL’s D6 Block is not only cheaper than the price of gas sold by other private producers in the country but is also “substantially lower” than alternate liquid fuels (like naphtha and furnace oil). He said prices of gas produced from fields awarded prior of the launch of New Exploration Licensing Policy auctions are in the range of $3.50-5.73 per unit.
“The price of gas from imported regasified liquefied natural gas in respect of term contracts is over $5 per unit,” Deora said. “The formula (for D6 gas pricing) is linked to crude price and is based on arm’s-length principle.”
The minister said RIL is currently producing 35 mmcmd of gas from the block.