Cairn India moves Delhi HC against bar on surplus export from Barmer oilfields

Under a production-sharing contract between Cairn India and state explorer ONGC, the Vedanta group firm could sell surplus crude oil only to government and its nominees


Cairn India maintains that it should be allowed to export surplus crude as private domestic refineries in India were not offering competitive prices with respect to the international market.
Cairn India maintains that it should be allowed to export surplus crude as private domestic refineries in India were not offering competitive prices with respect to the international market.

New Delhi: Cairn India on Wednesday moved the Delhi high court in an appeal against an order rejecting permission to the company to export surplus crude from Barmer oilfields in Rajasthan.

The matter was brought before a division bench headed by G. Rohini, chief justice of Delhi high court, which issued notice to the Centre and sought a response before the next date of hearing.

The company had come to court against an order passed by Justice Manmohan on 18 October under which Cairn’s plea for permission to export surplus crude had been dismissed.

Under a production-sharing contract (PSC) between Cairn India, a Vedanta group company, and state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), it could sell surplus crude oil only to government and its nominees.

The terms of the PSC allowed Cairn get 70% of crude from the well while the state-owned company would get 30%.

The oil and gas exploration company through the hearings before the single judge had maintained that it should be allowed to export its surplus crude as private domestic refineries in India were not offering competitive prices with respect to the international market.

It said that they were agreeable to offering the domestic players in the country the first option to buy the crude, but at international prices.

The Centre had reiterated that the country’s no-export policy on crude as long as the country does not attain self sufficiency could not be changed.

The matter will be heard next on 28 March.

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