New Delhi: The oil ministry is likely to extend the tenure of the A.P. Shah Committee looking into the dispute between state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) regarding the flow of gas between their adjacent fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin.
A person familiar with the discussions between the ministry and the committee said the panel has sought more time to give its recommendations.
ONGC claims that RIL has benefited from gas flow between their adjacent fields during the 2009-13 period.
The committee was set up on 15 December 2015, as ordered by the Delhi High Court after hearing ONGC’s petition alleging that the RIL consortium was benefitting from the gas flow. The deadline was earlier extended till 31 July.
RIL has been maintaining that it has drilled wells only within its block, as approved by the regulatory authority, and was not guilty of any wrongdoing. The committee is mandated to “quantify unfair enrichment if any” by RIL and to recommend ways to compensate ONGC and the government after independent American consultant DeGoyler and MacNaughton (D&M) reported that the fields managed by the two companies shared the same reservoir, leading to migration of gas from ONGC’s field to RIL’s.
Both the companies are now getting ready for pumping more investments into their respective fields to take advantage of the new pricing policy, which seeks to enhance domestic natural gas production and help in veering the economy towards cleaner fuel. The new pricing formula announced by the government on 10 March allows producers to sell gas from hard-to-reach areas at a price linked to select imported alternative fuels such as fuel oil, naptha and coal.