• KG-D6 case: ONGC won’t accept Shah Panel report, will contest key findings

    Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) will likely question the role the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) played while Reliance Industries (RIL) was pumping out gas from the state firm’s fields, and argue strongly that its claim for compensation can’t be wished away just on the ground that the firm hadn’t developed the then commercially unviable fields, signaling that the state firm will not quietly accept the government panel’s recommendations.

    The board of the country’s largest oil and gas producer recently discussed the report of the government panel, headed by retired judge AP Shah, which found that RIL had unjustly gained by producing gas from the fields operated by ONGC. The board has decided to contest some of the key findings of the Shah panel report, which criticised the company for delayed field development and also recommended further scrutiny of “long periods of alleged inactivity on the part of ONGC in this case particularly”.

    The company will shortly write to the oil ministry rebutting key charges that the company had prior information but didn’t act on it promptly, and that it can’t claim compensation as it had not developed the field yet. The company will also question the role of DGH in this matter, arguing that the government arm has access to all seismic data available with all operators and it should have acted in time, executives said. “ONGC had data only about its own fields. But DGH had access to seismic data of our fields as well as that of RIL’s. It knew exactly where the wells were being drilled by RIL. It should have acted in time,” said an executive.  Robbie Ray Jersey

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