Ravva in $304m row with ministry

Vol 12, PW 23 (23 Apr 09) News in Brief

Consider this: your PSC says you must sell your crude to an Indian refiner.

You duly oblige, but then the refiner stops paying your bills on an order from someone in the oil ministry who doesn’t like the colour of your tie. Simplistic perhaps, but in summary that is what the Vizag district court heard on April 22 when lawyers from Amarchand Mangaldas acting for Ravva partners Cairn India and Marubeni-owned Ravva Oil resumed proceedings against Indian Oil subsidiary Bongaigaon Refinery (BRPL) in Assam for the recovery of $273m plus $131m interest in outstanding bills.

Ravva partners are vigorously contesting an oil ministry instruction to BRPL on March 20 to stop paying the consortium and instead pay the money directly into an oil ministry account, over a profit petroleum dispute. Ravva consortium invoices dated March 26, April 1, April 2, and April 7 have all gone unanswered, as has an order from Vizag judges for BRPL to pay 40% to the Ravva consortium.

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