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Reliance 'saddened' by ONGC chief's 'theft' remarks
Saturday May 24, 2014 0:08 AM, IANS

Reliance Industries Friday felt "saddened" by the remarks of the ONGC chief on alleged "theft" of gas in the Krishna-Godavari basin, and said as the matter was sub judice it called for restraint by both parties.

"We deny the claim of apparent 'theft' of gas from G4 & KG DWN 98/2 Block by Reliance Industries and can only attribute it to the likelihood of some elements in ONGC misleading the new chairman and managing director D.K. Sarraf, in order to hide their own failure to develop discoveries made over the last 13 years in these blocks," the company said in a statement.

The matter pertains to extracting gas from blocks off the Andhra Pradesh coast awarded to Reliance Industries, that potentially has some connectivity across others with the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) -- a matter that is now being heard by the Delhi High Court, based on a petition filed by the state-run firm.

"It was only in August 2013 that ONGC brought the issue of possible connectivity between reservoirs in RIL and ONGC blocks, to the notice of RIL through DGH (Directorate General of Hydrocarbons)," said the statement, adding efforts have been on by the two firms since then to appoint an independent agency to probe the matter.

The company also listed some specific engagements in this regard.

"Since the process for appointing this agency as per international practice was already well under way, it is indeed unfortunate that some elements in ONGC forced invocation of the Delhi High Court at this juncture," the statement said.

"In any case, ONGC already having filed a petition in the Hon'ble Delhi High Court, we would have expected greater restraint in a matter that has been made sub judice by them."

The statement also said RIL sees ONGC as a valued industry peer with which it wants to collaborate and continue in discovering, developing and producing hydrocarbons to benefit the country.

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