Illegitimate drawal of natural gas

Tapan Sen MP writes to Petroleum Minister regarding complain of ONGC about illegitimate drawal of natural gas worth thousands of crores of rupees from the ONGC's block in KG basin by Reliance Industries Ltd
20th August 2014
 
Dear Shri Dharmendra Pradhan ji,
 
I like to draw your pointed attention to the shocking news-item published in Hindustan Times (Delhi edition) dated 19th August 2014 that the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Govt of India (MoP&NG) has, in an affidavit filed in Delhi High Court, pleaded for rejecting the petition filed by its own Maharatna Company, ONGC complaining illegitimate drawal of natural gas worth thousands of crores of rupees from the ONGC's block in KG basin by Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL) through its well located adjoining to block of ONGC, terming the complaint of ONGC as "frivolous."
 
ONGC is one of the pioneer institutions in the country in exploration of gas and oil and their complaints must be based on their techno-geophysical findings. My simple query is that on what basis the MoP&NG did conclusively arrive at the conclusion that ONGC's complaint is "frivolous allegation"? Does such conclusion have requisite support of similar techno-geophysical examination? if so by which agency?
 
Ministry's observations that ONGC "woke up from slumber only in July 2013" or ONGC "was never vigilant and mindful of its rights' are not wholly correct. In fact, geological and geophysical data of all the relevant blocks KG-DWN-98/3, and G-4 Godavari and KG-DWN-98/2 blocks are being regularly supplied and appraised to the Ministry and the DGH since long, Even if we assume for arguments' sake, ONGC delayed in making such complaints or it remained negligent or was not alert enough on its rights etc, but such delay or negligence, if there be any, cannot justify such illegitimate, unauthorized and stealthy drawl of natural gas from ONGC's field by the private operator operating in the adjoining area, I had already brought the entire matter to your attention vide my letter dated 12th June 2014 urging upon you to take appropriate measures to defend the interests of Govt exchequer and the commercial right of ONGC" in the instant case, Unfortunately, the Govt have taken a stride in opposite direction in favour of the private contractor/operator.
The complaints of ONGC pertains to theft of natural gas under the domain of the Govt owned company and it should be dealt in public interest only through proper scientific examination/scrutiny of the complaint by an independent competent expert agency and before any such examination of the veracity of the complaint, any pleading for rejection of the complaint-petition itself tantamount to unduely guarding the probable offender or indulgence to the offence at the cost of national interests, I believe, you will appreciate the revealing impropriety in the stance of Govt of India, or in that matter of MoP&NG in the instant case reflecting undue bias in favour of the "charged" without verifying the veracity of the charges by a competent agency, I request you to please review the stand taken by the Ministry in this regard as reflected in its affidavit before Delhi High Court in the instant case, Rather, along with judicial examination of the complaints of ONGC, the Ministry should also get the complaints examined by an independent expert agency to ascertain the truth instead of pleading for rejection of ONGC's petition, I urge upon you to please intervene appropriately in that direction in the interests of all concerned.

Awaiting early response,

With regards,

Yours sincerely,
(TAPAN SEN)
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