Oil ministry misguiding people, PMO: Reliance Natural Resources | business | Hindustan Times
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Oil ministry misguiding people, PMO: Reliance Natural Resources

The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Tuesday said the oil ministry continued to misguide the people and key decision makers on the dispute over gas from the fields of the Krishna-Godavari basin, awarded to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).

business Updated: Aug 11, 2009 21:29 IST

Reacting to a purported letter written by the petroleum ministry to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the group said the government was also fully aware of the natural gas contract between group firm Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) and RIL.

"The petroleum ministry continues to misguide all concerned, including the PMO, by hiding, misquoting and misrepresenting facts," the group said in a statement.

"The petroleum ministry was in full knowledge of the details of the gas supply arrangements between RIL and RNRL way back in June 2006, if not earlier. Copy of the gas supply agreement was duly submitted by us to the petroleum ministry in June 2006. The petroleum ministry's repeated stand that they have come to know about this arrangement only now is inexplicable and untenable," it added.

The group said it was reacting to reports on the reply that the petroleum ministry apparently sent to the PMO following a letter from RNRL chairman Anil Ambani to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh July 15.

The Anil Ambani group also questioned the petroleum ministry's purported remarks on the production sharing contract between RNRL and RIL.

"It is also reported that the petroleum ministry is of the firm view that gas supply arrangements between RIL and RNRL are against the provisions of production sharing contract (PSC).

"If the petroleum ministry is firmly convinced of the facts, it is within their powers under the provisions of PSC to terminate the PSC it has signed with RIL."

Maintaining that the RIL-RNRL gas supply agreement was fully compliant with the PSC, the group said: "The Bombay High Court has held that RIL can fulfil its obligation to RNRL in compliance with PSC."

In this connection, it said the petroleum ministry was "intentionally and deliberately misleading the PMO and public at large by claiming that PSC required RIL to sell natural gas as per the gas utilisation policy of the government".

The group questioned the government's stand, quoting from the PSC that said, "For the purpose of sale in domestic markets in India, the contractor shall have freedom to market the gas."