BG agrees 'Working Group' to resolve PMT deadlock

Vol 6, PW 2 (27 Mar 02) Exploration & Production

ITS CELEBRATION TIME at ONGC and Reliance! Both are claiming success in convincing British Gas to introduce a joint operatorship model at Panna, Mukta and Tapti.

We learn that on 23rd March BG signed a MoU with ONGC and Reliance agreeing to set up a 'Working Group' to devise "various models for integrated joint operatorship with substantive participation of all three partners and not sole operatorship." The 'Working Group' is scheduled to come up with its recommendations within four weeks. In return ONGC has agreed to postpone its threat to remove BG from operatorship.

Both ONGC and Reliance are happy. "This is a victory for us," reveals a source.

" We have got them to agree in writing to explore joint operatorship models. It's very important that this has been put down on paper and signed." Agreement to set up a 'Working Group' came after 20 days of almost continuous meetings of the operating committee.

"It was a question of who tires out first and who stood firm." It's believed BG fought valiantly to the last. "They kept trying to dilute our position but we stood firm.

They wanted to put in this and that clause, but grudgingly gave in when they found they were getting nowhere." If the 'Working Group' is unable to agree on a joint operatorship model we understand ONGC fully intends to proceed with moves to formally strip BG of the right to be operator. Despite the compromise, BG is still lukewarm on the idea of joint operatorship.

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