Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance denies gas pact with brother’s firm

January 14th, 2009 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 14 (IANS) Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Wednesday denied any pact with Anil Ambani Group’s Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) for the sale of natural gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast.Representing Reliance Industries, senior counsel Harish Salve told the Bombay High Court that a memorandum of understanding was entered into with Reliance Energy, another company in the Anil Ambani group, for the Dadri power project in Uttar Pradesh.

“The 28 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas is specific for Reliance Energy at NTPC price,” Salve told the division bench of Justice J.N. Patel and Justice K.K. Tated, referring to the base price agreed with the state-run thermal power company.

“Nowhere does it say that the gas will go to RNRL,” he said during the hearing of the dispute between the two groups led by the Ambani brothers over the natural gas from one of the most lucrative hydrocarbon finds in recent years.

Mohan Parasaran, the additional solicitor general of India, had Tuesday said the gas from the Krishna-Godavari block would be available to all private and public sector firms at not less than $4.20 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu).

This was the price suggested by a high-powered ministerial group and agreed by the government.

The state-run NTPC is also fighting a legal battle with Reliance Industries for the supply of natural gas but at a lower price of $2.34 per mmBtu.

The government is an intervener in both the cases and has asked the court to lift the ban on the sale of natural gas from the basin in the larger interest of energy-starved country.

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