Despite the best assertions of oil ministry, Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) stands to recover costs it incurred in the development of its much talked about oil and gas acreage – KG-D6 fields, after gathering a majority support from stake holders in the gas field.
Oil ministry and its technical arm Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) have tried to prevent this from happening by stating that Reliance Industries can be penalized for fall in output from KG-D6 blocks which were vehemently noted to contain zealous resource acreage. However, RIL, along with other industry officials, have duly noted that geological constraints and uncertainty cannot possibly be gauged by any operator until they are knee deep in the actual process. KG-D6 failed to generate speculated oil and gas resources but, as per recent findings from a study conducted by RIL and its partner BP Plc, the region around KG-D6 continues to hold much promise as against any other field at present.
And while DGH would have liked to amend the action by enabling a resolution in KG-D6 Management Committee (MC), neither the government nor any state run firm has any stake in operations of KG-D6 fields. The MC takes a decision only if it is backed by parties representing at least 70% stake in the block, along with support from government nominee, if any. And if majority outranks the veto presented by a government nominee, the decision is taken in favor of the majority. Because KG-D6 does not have a government nominee, individual stake holders are the ones to decide the fate of KG-D6 cost recovery issue. At present RIL and Niko have stakes in D6 operations, while BP Plc, which signed a deal with RIL to claim 30% stake in its oil and gas acreage, is yet to formally join the production sharing contract (PSC).
DGH has claimed that operator RIL is at fault for not drilling enough wells but it has failed to overlook the extensive work that has gone into KG-D6 over the years. While output has not lived up to its expected mark, it has shown prospect for growth. Plus, this issue has brought to the shore the lack of government’s trust in oil and gas operators. While discrepancies arising from natural factors cannot be avoided or overlooked, government ought to show consideration for development efforts that go into functioning of a major undertaking as KG-D6.
Reliance Industries has been given a reprieve by the DGH in the KG-D6 basin case. The official Statement from the DGH states that INdian govt cannot stop Reliance Industries not recover cost from D6 basin.