RIL price approval not to affect NTPC, RNRL court cases: Govt

RIL price approval not to affect NTPC, RNRL court cases: Govt

New Delhi: The government has said the approval of price for the natural gas Reliance Industries plans to produce from KG fields will not affect the outcome of the legal cases NTPC and Anil Ambani firm RNRL have filed for fuel supplies against the Mukesh Ambani company.

“The decisions taken in (Wednesday’s) EGoM meeting will be without prejudice to the NTPC vs RIL and RNRL vs RIL court cases, which are at present subjudice," an official press release announcing the EGoM decision said on Wednesday.

An Empowered Group of Ministers headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had slightly changed the price formula proposed by RIL to approve KG-D6 field gas price of $4.20 per mBtu (Rs172.20 per mBtu) as against $4.33 per mBtu (Rs187.84 per mBtu) proposed by the company.

The approved price is only 3% lower in dollar terms and 8.32% less in rupee terms.

The Bombay High Court had early this year in an interim decision on a plea filed by Anil Ambani group company Reliance Natural Resources Ltd restrained RIL from selling about 81 million standard cubic meters per day of gas (mmscmd) to any other party except NTPC, RNRL or its own use.

RNRL had sought supply of 28 mmscmd of gas at the price RIL had quoted in the NTPC tender as was promised in the Ambani-family split agreement.

RIL had bid a delivered price of $3.18 per mBtu (wellhead gas price of $2.34 per mBtu) for supply of 12 mmsmcd in a 2004 NTPC tender but did not implement it due to differences over certain provisions. This forced the state-run power generating firm to drag RIL to Bombay High Court.

RIL is to begin production of 40 mmscmd of gas from the KG-D6 fields off the Andhra cost from July 2008. Peak output is slated to touch 80 mmscmd later.