RIL decides not to boycott Shah panel in gas dispute with ONGC

Reversing its earlier stand, Reliance Industries has decided to participate in the AP Shah panel that’s examining the issue of migration of gas from ONGC’s to RIL’s gas blocks in the KG Basin. Officials familiar with the matter said the reversal indicates the company changed its mind because the Shah panel has decided to go ahead with the hearings.

RIL spokespersons did not wish to comment. EThas reviewed the copy of the February 6 letter sent by RIL to Justice Shah. It says: “…after careful consideration, RIL and Niko (Niko holds 10% participating interest in Block KG D6) now respectfully request that they be allowed to participate in the further proceedings of the Hon’ble Committee and seek leave to attend the next hearing…” RIL also says: “We (RIL) have had to reassess our position about participation … in view particularly of the fact as the operator RIL, rather than the other constituents of the contractor, is best suited to provide technical details of development and production from Block KG D6.”

The RIL letter says that “our participation shall be entirely without prejudice to the position already taken of our communication of Dec 31, 2015.” RIL’s decision to participate in the Shah panel is a U-turn from its earlier position. It had earlier argued the panel had no locus standi.

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