Mumbai: For the second day running, billionaire entrepreneur Anil Ambani continued to attack those opposing his claims to natural gas and said he would ask the country’s Supreme Court to advance hearings in the on-going gas dispute between his fuel marketing firm Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) controlled by his estranged elder brother Mukesh Ambani.
Ambani said in a conference call with reporters that RNRL had served notices to RIL and the Union ministry for petroleum and natural gas to this effect.
On Tuesday, Ambani had lashed out at RIL and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas during a meeting of RNRL shareholders. During the call on Wednesday, he commented that since the petroleum ministry “has reiterated on several occasions that the matter is of national importance, RNRL hopes that they would also agree...for an expeditious final hearing...and will not be misguided by RIL” which only wants “to delay the matter indefinitely”.
The dispute between RIL and RNRL has to do with gas from the former’s D6 block in the Krishna-Godavari basin off India’s east coast. RNRL has claimed 28 million standard cubic metres of this gas a day for 17 years at a price of $2.34 (Rs113.49) per mBtu, 44% lower than that specified by the government, based on a 2005 family pact. RIL has maintained that it is merely a contractor and has no marketing freedom—a stance seconded by the ministry.
In the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, the government said it would make a statement over the Ambani brothers’ legal battle. Senior Congress leaders who didn’t want to be named said petroleum minister Murli Deora had a meeting with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and law minister Veerappa Moily to finalize the government’s stance on the issue.
RNRL shares rose 1.39% to Rs83.85 on Wednesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The company, posted a net profit of Rs17.24 crore for the April-June quarter, up 7.3% from Rs16.07 crore in the same period last year. Its revenue rose to Rs115.46 crore from Rs92.92 crore over the same period, according to its statement filed with BSE.
The Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Power, which has bagged three out of four 4,000MW Ultra Mega Power Projects of the country, also announced its first quarter results of this fiscal with an over threefold rise in net profit on the back of earnings from its investments or other avenues not related to the core business activity. R-Power had profits after tax of Rs263.31 crore in the quarter ended 30 June. It has no income from operations as it is still to operationalize its first power plant but has posted profits based on “other income” of Rs2,63.31 crore.
The firm, which seeks to build power plants fired by gas, water and coal with an aggregate capacity of around 33,000MW, has achieved financial closure of its projects in Sasan, Butibori and Rosa.
Liz Mathew contributed to this story.