DGH washes its hands of visa controversy | india | Hindustan Times
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DGH washes its hands of visa controversy

The petroleum ministry orders upstream oil regulator to explain leakage of information regarding issue of visa to Chinese nationals in RIL, reports Deepak Joshi.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2006 19:26 IST

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has washed its hands of the controversy over leakage of information regarding visa to Chinese nationals in Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and OAO Gazprom projects.

The petroleum ministry had asked the upstream oil regulator to find out and explain the leakage of information regarding issue of visa to Chinese nationals in RIL.

"It has been observed that many a times letters written by the DGH find its way to press few days after it is issued. DGH has control over the letter/correspondence up to DGH end, but once it is issued to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas/ministry of home affairs/exploration and production applicant, DGH does not have control over it," says a letter from the DGH addressed to the petroleum ministry.

Outlining the steps taken to prevent such leaks, DGH said the staff had been cautioned to be careful and a fresh mechanism had been put in place with all security issue.

Reliance Transportation Infrastructure Ltd, an RIL group company, had awarded pipeline-laying contract to China Petroleum Pipeline International against a global tender for evacuation of gas from Krishna- Godavri basin, a discovery by RIL in 2005. The Chinese company had sought visa for 1,800 employees.

DGH clarified that it is unlikely that some lower staff in the office would have disclosed the reference number to the E&P operator.

"In this connection, a meeting was called by Director-General, DGH with all the nodal officers and administrative personnel and matter was investigated to find out if reference number has been given... From the investigations carried out, it does not appear so," it stated.

Email Deepak Joshi : djoshi@hindustantimes.com