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Non-adherance to KG-D6 plan be inferred as default: Par panel

A Parliamentary Standing Committee on petroleum and natural gas has observed that non- adherence by Reliance Industries to the approved field development plan of KG D-6 block be construed as 'default'.

The committee, which submitted its recommendations last month, also suggested that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry should explore all possible options and take corrective measures to increase the gas production from the KG-D6 block as observed in the study commissioned by DGH.

'The committee has taken serious note of the statement made by the ministry that the contractor (RIL) failed to adhere to the approved field development plan both in terms of gas production as well as drilling and putting on stream the required number of wells even after repeated reminders,' it said.

The committee also note that the action taken by the ministry in respect of cost disallowance of $1.005 billion to contractor based on the arbitration procedure, it said.

'In view of the above, the committee is of the opinion that non-adherence by the contractor to approved field development plan should be construed as 'default' and not just failure and remedial action by the ministry in this regard must be premised on 'default' by the contractor not on 'failure',' the committee said.

Somabhai Gandalal Koli Patel, Lok Sabha member from Surendranagar constituency of Gujarat, was the acting chairman of the standing committee. Congress MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar, who was chairman of the committee when it was formed, said the recommendations were submitted to the speaker's office and the government will have to give the action taken report on the recommendations.

The committee observed that the KG D-6 is one of the successful discoveries in the NELP regime which gave hope to the country in its quest for exploration of hydrocarbon resources.

According to the committee report, the planned production as per the approved field development plan was 33.83 mmscmd in 2009-10 and to go up to 86.73 mmscmd in 2012-13. However, the production for the KG D-6 basin started declining as the actual production 55.89 in 2010-11 to 26.18 mmscmd in 2012-13.   The committee said the contractor has not adhered to the measures suggested by the regulator DGH to drill wells to increase natural gas production.

'Also coincidently the demand of the increase in the price of natural gas by the contractor over and above the discovered price by arm length mechanism as provided in the PSC has also brought question mark regarding the interest of contractor to abide in the sanctity and stability of the PSC,' it said.
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