Did Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) extract gas from the blocks belonging to ONGC, sitting next to its KG-D6 gas block on the eastern offshore?
India’s largest private sector oil company, RIL, and state-owned oil and gas major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) have been engaged in a faceoff for over seven months over whether RIL took out gas from ONGC’s gas blocks in the Krishna Godavari region. It could finally end up as a legal tussle between the two companies.
While ONGC’s chairman and managing director DK Saraff refused to comment on the issue, an RIL spokesperson said, "We are engaged in constructive dialogue with ONGC on all matters."
A director on the board of ONGC told Hindustan Times that as of now, the attempt is to appoint an international consultant to resolve the row, but the possibility of the two sides taking to legal recourse cannot be ruled out.
"At the meeting of the board last month, the chairman and managing director of ONGC shared with the board the likelihood of gas being drawn from the two ONGC gas blocks (Godavari PML and KG-DWN-98/2) by Reliance through wells drilled by it in its KG-D6 block," he said.
"A detailed discussion took place at the company’s recent board meeting, where the management discussed all possible options that included legal recourse to protect the interest of ONGC," he said. Interpretation shows that wells of RIL drilled close to the block boundary may be draining gas from the two gas fields of ONGC, he said.
Sources close to RIL said the company was not convinced with ONGC’s findings. It is of the view that there exist uncertainties with regard to the possibility of channel extension, sand continuity and the perceived connectivity, they said.
"The last meeting on the aforementioned subject was just last month... Given the geological complexities involved, the matter on hand can perhaps be settled by a third-party expert. We are awaiting the appointment of such an expert and we are confident that the matter will be expeditiously resolved to mutual satisfaction," RIL’s spokesperson said.