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Reliance Industries accuses ONGC of holding back KG data

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RIL shares up nearly 3%
RIL shares up nearly 3%

New Delhi – Reliance Industries rejected ONGC’s complaint to the government over their adjoining fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin, alleging that the state-owned company was holding back data required to establish whether they have a common reservoir.

In a February 25 letter to the state-run explorer, RIL said it will now complete the initial analysis even without all the data and called a bilateral meeting on March 11 on the issue. “Now, based on our telecon on 23.02.14, we know that ONGC will not share any remaining data. You would appreciate that exchanging the full data sets as discussed is vital for understanding each other’s basis of interpretation,” RIL wrote to ONGC.

The letter reviewed by ET blamed ONGC for delaying the matter by not providing necessary data. “It is only appropriate to bring to your attention that RIL has time and gain emphasised to ONGC that providing the necessary data in a timely manner is imperative for RIL’s technical teams to progress its analysis for a constructive meeting at the earliest,” it said. RIL said the company was yet to receive the “complete and correct data set” despite the two parties having agreed to provide “all necess ..

It had been “more than cooperative in sharing data well in time of what was agreed”, the company told ONGC. “Since we are now advised by you that you shall not provide us any remaining data, we shall conclude our initial analysis in absence of this data,” RIL said in the letter to ONGC.

The state-run explorer had sought the help of the oil ministry in July last year after it feared that two of its blocks in the east coast could be contiguous with RIL’s KG-D6 block and the private operator might be drawing gas from its fields. The ministry immediately intervened and directed the two firms to exchange data and sort out the matter amicably.

The two companies initially met on December 10 last year and decided to exchange data of their respective gas fields within a week. RIL executives said ONGC didn’t provide all the data required to interpret whether the fields were overlapping, despite RIL having provided all the data sought by ONGC. ONGC, however, said Reliance was evading a meeting with the state firm, which is necessary to clear doubts over whether RIL was drawing natural gas from its undeveloped fields located next to the  KG-D6 block.

“It appears that endeavour of ONGC to come to a common ground with RIL is now failing and also considerable time has elapsed since the DGH directed to RIL on August 28, 2013, to share the data with ONGC. There is a remote possibility of a meeting with RIL in immediate future taking into consideration their instance for seeking additional data and clarifications in a phased manner,” ONGC said in a February 11 letter addressed to the oil ministry, which was reported by ET on Thursday.

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