The KG basin is considered to be the largest natural gas basin in India. Small and medium sized blocks were opened up in this round which was followed up by giving out bigger blocks in as per the New Exploration and Licensing Policy NELP. Since all mining resources belong to the people of India, government monitors the exploration and production of these. In the case of oil and gas sector, government enters into contractual relationship with the private player through a Production Sharing Contract PSC.
The KG basin is considered to be the largest natural gas basin in India. Small and medium sized blocks were opened up in this round which was followed up by giving out bigger blocks in as per the New Exploration and Licensing Policy NELP.
Since all mining resources belong to the people of India, government monitors the exploration and production of these. In the case of oil and gas sector, government enters into contractual relationship with the private player through a Production Sharing Contract PSC.
The PSC lays out roles and responsibilities of all parties, specifies the detailed procedures to be followed at different stages of exploration, development and production.
It also specifies the cost recovery and profit sharing in the contract. Even before production could start from the KG D6 wells, Reliance group was split vertically between the two brothers, with the gas business of Reliance Industries remaining with Mukesh Ambani, the elder brother.
The brothers fought over this huge reserve of gas even though it was not theirs in the first place. A family pact between the two brothers, which was never made public till the issue blew out of proportion, was at the core of the dispute. Here the role of the government needs to be highlighted.
None of the ministries involved in the process, including the oil ministry which Moily now represents, raised the point that the gas reserves belonged to the country and was not a property of the Ambani family.
Even the Prime Minister, ManMohan Singh meekly requested the brothers to settle their differences in the interests of the country. In fact ONGC was supplying gas to the government at half the rate. Anil Ambani used this as a basis for asking gas for his power plant. Reliance Industries refused to sign the contract for supply of gas.
The case after nine years is still sub judice. Here again the government's disinterest in protecting the interests of its own PSU has been a matter of much debate. This decision was taken without a single unit of gas coming out of the KG basin.
Reliance grabbed at this opportunity and said that it could not supply gas at a price lower than the mandated price set by the government.
The brazenness of the entire exercise by the government can be seen from the fact that the objections raised by the Principal Advisor, Power and Energy to the government of India, Surya P Sethi along with the then cabinet secretary were ignored by the government.
As per the PSC, Reliance should have relinquished 25 per cent of the total area outside the discoveries in andbut the entire area was declared as a discovery area after initial objections and the company was allowed to retain it. Without drilling adequate wells, Reliance kept on claiming that there was potential for petroleum.
The move allowed Reliance to keep the entire area to itself without following the norms laid under the PSC. In a recent report CAG has said that Reliance moved directly from discovery to commercial production, skipping the intermediate appraisal programme step required as under PSC.
CAG asks, without an appraisal programme how did the government and DGH ascertain the amount of gas in the well? And if they did not know how much gas was there in the well, what is the logic and basis of blaming Reliance of hoarding gas.Essay writing for Tech Mahindra, IBM, SBI PO descriptive, IIM WAT.
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