New Delhi:The Delhi High Court today sought responses of the Centre and the ONGC on Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) plea seeking dismissal of the PSU’s petition accusing it of exploiting gas worth Rs 30,000 crore from the PSU’s natural gas block in Krishna-Godavri (KG) basin.

RIL has sought dismissal of the petition of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) saying an independent third party, US-based DeGolyer and MacNaughton, has been appointed, as per the PSU’s plea, to “establish continuity of reservoir and for gas balancing” across the two blocks in the KG basin.

Justice Manmohan issued notices and sought response of all the parties in the matter and listed the matter for further hearing on January 21, 2015.

RIL in its plea has said that the matter was a contractual dispute between the parties and the only issue, of appointment of an independent third party, has been settled amicably, thus ONGC’s petition be dismissed.

An activist lawyer and a former bureaucrat had moved the high court seeking to intervene in the matter, saying that apart from the earlier government’s alleged pressure on ONGC to withdraw its plea, the present regime has also supported RIL and admonished the PSU for filing the petition.

The two applicants have stated that “non-resolution of the issues raised in ONGC’s petition would have a serious adverse impact on public interest.

On May 29, ONGC had submitted before the court that it has suffered loss of gas worth Rs 30,000 crore as a result of RIL exploiting gas from its block in Krishna-Godavri basin.

In its plea, ONGC has contended that RIL has drawn out 18 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the combined reserves of both companies since 2009.

ONGC has alleged that the current situation arose due to lack of vigilance on the part of Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) and the central government and their failure to take precautionary measures resulted in loss of several thousands of crores of rupees to it.

It said that DGH should have insisted upon joint development of the blocks.

ONGC has claimed that of the said total quantity of gas exploited by RIL from its block adjoining that of the PSU, more than half belongs to it.

RIL has said that the blocks were given to it in 2006 and it made them operational.

While it has admitted that it is drawing gas from its block, it said that the independent expert panel will have to determine if the well of the company is connected with that of ONGC.

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