The Bombay High Court’s ruling on Monday, directing Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to sell 28 million standard cubic metres of gas per day to Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) at a price of $2.34 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu), has raised hopes of state-owned NTPC Ltd also getting its share of 12 mmscmd gas from RIL at the same price.
NTPC’s chairman and managing director, R S Sharma refused to comment, saying the matter was “sub-judice.” Another senior official of NTPC told HT: “We are very hopeful of getting our matter resolved with RIL.
“RNRL had quoted NTPC’s price of $2.34 per mmBtu. So if they have been permitted to buy gas at $2.34, there is no doubt that NTPC will not get this price.”
NTPC and RNRL have been involved in a longstanding legal dispute with Reliance over gas supplies from the latter’s gas fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin, expected to have over 50 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.
Both RIL-RNRL and RIL-NTPC cases pertain to agreements on supplying gas from the KG basin. NTPC has the first right on RIL's KG basin gas, but RIL says it has not concluded the contract.
The government has an unresolved dispute with RIL over gas supply for expansion of Kawas and Gandhar units.
Notwithstanding this, the government has asked NTPC to sign a gas purchase agreement with RIL for other projects at a price of $4.21 per mmBtu to expedite the expansion of electricity projects.
Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde recently said this pertained only to other projects. However, NTPC is yet to sign the pact, fearing it could compomise the court case against RIL.