India's top auditor CAG has said that audit of the D-6 oil block in the Krishna-Godavari basin operated by Reliance Industries is likely to take 4-5 months more to be finished.
"We require 4-5 months to complete the audit... The process would take time, as this is the first time that we are looking at a private player’s books... It’s a very detailed process", Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai said.
The CAG is auditing Rs 45,000 crore capital spending by RIL, which is controlled by Mukesh Ambani, to tap natural gas from the D-6 block in K-G basin, following a request from the petroleum ministry in 2007.
He said that RIL had submitted all related documents sought by CAG by the end of January this year.
"All the firms, including RIL, have submitted required documents that we have sought," said Rai.
However, a Reliance Industries spokesperson refused to offer any comment on the issue.
In a hard-pitched battle last year between the Ambani siblings, younger brother Anil Ambani had alleged that Mukesh-controlled RIL had inflated capital spending to Rs 45,000 crore from the initial estimate of Rs 12,500 crore for the D-6 block.
CAG's scope of audit is in respect of the block KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) awarded to RIL for two financial years -- 2006-07 and 2007-08 -- with access to records of previous years linked to transactions in these years.
It is also understood that the scope of this audit will far exceed the normal course of audit by the CAG and the prime objective may be to detect fraud, if any, by the operator (RIL), allegedly in collusion with oil regulator DGH and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
In 2007, the Petroleum Ministry had asked the CAG to conduct an audit of seven oil and gas blocks, including RIL's KG-D6 block. After initial reluctance, the CAG is now conducting the audit of four oil & gas blocks, namely KG-D6 of RIL, the Barmer and Ravva oilfields being operated by Cairn India and the Panna-Mukta-Ta.