GSPC closely watching RIL/ONGC court battle

Vol 19, PW 4 (22 Oct 15) People & Policy

GSPC is watching with great interest the outcome of ONGC’s battle with Reliance over its alleged 'gas theft' worth an estimated Rs10,000cr ($1.53bn) from the G4 or Godavari block.

Why is GSPC interested? Because Reliance apparently committed a similar transgression at GSPC's own Deen Dayal West (DDW) field at the KG-OSN-2001/3 block, says GSPC, pointing to Audit Report Number 4 (Commercial) published back in 2010-11 by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) watchdog. According to the CAG report, Reliance set up a Control and Riser Platform (CRP) at shallow water DDW in water depths of 400 metres between 2007 and 2010 to avoid installing an expensive ‘floating CRP’ at its KG-DWN-98/3 block in water depths of 2700 metres.

“This would have involved high capital costs compared to a fixed CRP at DDW,” says CAG. “Reliance has encroached into GSPC’s block in a well-planned manner.

” CAG also blames GSPC for allowing Reliance to trespass and accuses Reliance of commandeering a 17-sq km chunk of DDW. GSPC had originally granted ‘in-principle’ approval to Reliance for a subsea pipeline to transport gas from KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 to the Gadimoga onshore terminal.

Still unclear is if GSPC will follow ONGC’s lead and drag Reliance to court. “It’s for the Gujarat government to decide,” says a Gandhinagar source.

“Let’s see the result of the ONGC and Reliance fight."