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Raging row over price of gas

Following is the chronology of events surrounding the dispute over gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin, off the Andhra Pradesh coast, between the Anil Ambani group and his elder brother Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries:Feb 1999: A consortium led by Reliance Industries (RIL) wins an exploration block in the KGD6 basin, in a global auction.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 07, 2010 10:11 PM IST

Feb 1999: A consortium led by Reliance Industries (RIL) wins an exploration block in the KGD6 basin, in a global auction.

Mar 2000: Contractor renamed Global Fuel Management Services, and then Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL).

Apr 2000: RIL and the govt execute production sharing contract.

Sep 2003-May 2004: RIL submits bids for supply of gas to NTPC.

Apr 2004: Production sharing contract executed.

June 2004: RIL signs pact with Uttar Pradesh for world’s largest gas-based power plant at Dadri.

June-July 2004: NTPC issues letter of intent to RIL.

June 2005: MoU to reorganise RIL signed between Ambani brothers. Anil resigns as joint MD.

Aug 2005: Brothers sign non-compete pact. RIL board approves scheme of de-merger.

Sep-Oct 2005: Application filed with Bombay HC for scheme of de-merger.

Dec 2005: Court sanctions de-merger. Financial services, telecom and power businesses transferred to Anil group. Mukesh keeps other businesses.

Jan 10, 2006: Board nod for draft GSMA to be signed with RNRL.

Jan 12, 2006: RIL board approves pact to supply 28 million units of gas to Anil Ambani group, and up to 40 million units if the contract with NTPC does not materialise.

Feb 2006: RNRL board reconstituted and alleges deviations in the original agreement.

Feb-July 2006: RNRL seeks permission from oil ministry to lay pipelines for transporting gas from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh to Dadri. RIL asks ministry to approve gas price at $2.34 per unit. But permission denied

Nov 8, 2006: RNRL takes the dispute to court. Wants RIL restrained from selling 28 million units of gas to any third party. Also wants sanction for 12 million units if NTPC contract falls.

May 3, 2007: Court allows RIL to sell gas in the interim.

June 2007: RIL invites quotations from power and fertiliser companies to fix the price of gas.

June 9, 2007: RNRL tells oil ministry that court order prevented it from granting approval to the price sought by RIL.

June 19, 2007: RNRL seeks further restraint against RIL for the balance of 40 million units of gas.

Aug 2007: RIL invites bids for price and quantity for sale of KGD6 gas and asks oil ministry to approve sale at $4.32 per unit.

Sep 2007: Ministerial panel approves gas price formula at $4.21 per unit.

Oct 2007: Govt sets gas distribution priorities.

May 2008: Ministers approve gas use policy.

Jan 30, 2009: Hearings conclude. Interim order passed allowing RIL to sell gas to various customers for 5 years.

Mar 2009: Oil ministry finalises gas allocation from KGD6 for fertiliser and power companies.

June 15, 2009: Division bench upholds the Ambani family gas agreement and directs RIL and RNRL to enter into a gas supply pact within a month.

June 19, 2009: RNRL files caveat in apex court on gas price issue after Bombay HC order upholds its position on the gas price in its dispute with RIL.

June 23, 2009: RNRL invites RIL for talks on HC judgement, but RIL says it is studying implications.

July 1, 2009: RIL says it will appeal to the SC against HC ruling. Says supplies to RNRL not possible at $2.34 per unit, as it is bound by govt price.

July 3, 2009: RNRL moves SC to make gas supply from KGD6 binding on RIL.

July 4, 2009: RIL challenges HC order saying verdict erred in fixing quantity, tenure and price.

July 5, 2009: RIL makes government a party in its petition.

July 7, 2009: Apex court issues notice to RIL, RNRL and the government.

July 17, 2009: Government asks court to make it respondent.

July 18, 2009: The government files a petition to declare Ambani family pact null and void.

July 19, 2009: Government says gas is its property.

July 20, 2009: Supreme Court calls for counter replies and fixes Sep 1 as date of hearing.

July 22, 2009: PM’s office wants oil ministry to explain why it has been accused by Anil Ambani group of siding with RIL.

July 28-Aug 3, 2009: Anil Ambani lashes out at oil ministry for favouring his elder brother. Matter also rocks parliament, where SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav demands resignation of Petroleum Minister Murli Deora. Deora says gas belongs not to Ambanis but the government.

Aug 4, 2009: Oil regulator rejects Anil Ambani group’s charges of acts of omission and commission in allowing capital expenditure of KGD6 gas to be hiked from $2.4 billion to $8.8 billion.

Aug 28, 2009: RIL says NTPC was told gas price of $2.34 was subject to government approval.

Sep 14, 2009: RNRL says RIL charging illegal marketing margins

Sep 15, 2009: Anil Ambani Group asks SC to make NTPC a party.

Sep 24, 2009: NTPC signs pact to buy gas, other than the quantity in dispute, at $4.20 a unit.

Oct 5, 2009: RIL says chairman Mukesh signed pact with Anil Ambani Group in personal capacity without approval from board.

Oct 9, 2009: Anil threatens to sue oil regulator saying he made false allegations against his group.

Oct 11, 2009: Anil says brothers can still resolve matters amicably, but RIL keen on court settlement.

Oct 20, 2009: SC begins hearing the cross appeals.

Nov 4, 2009: Justice Raveendran recuses himself from hearing

Dec 18, 2009: Three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan reserves judgement on the case.

May 7, 2010: SC delivers its verdict.

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