Rejoinder Press Release on Economic Times news titled “ONGC was under pressure to Act on RIL: PSU’s director for exploration admits of pressure from govt. in drilling dispute”

This rejoinder refers to the above-referred news item published in The Economic Times on 5th March 2014. The news, quoting ONGC Director (Exploration) Mr. N K Verma, says that ONGC was ‘under pressure’ from the government to act on concerns that Reliance Industries Ltd. could have pumped out gas from a reservoir belonging to ONGC in Krishna-Godavari Basin. The rejoinder also refers to another news item in Dainik Jagran on 5th March 2014, saying that ONGC has alleged that Reliance Industries is ‘stealing’ oil from ONGC reservoir.

ONGC hereby registers this rejoinder to the media fraternity, that the above was not said by ONGC’s Director (Exploration) or anyone else in the press conference on 4th March 2014. Responding to a query from a journalist on the ONGC-RIL case, Director (Exploration) Mr. N K Verma had said that in reply to the government’s seeking status of the issue, ONGC has apprised the status and shared the concerns to the government.

ONGC has written to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas last year requesting for a data-sharing with ONGC to study and evaluate the possibility of a reservoir continuity in the prospective area. Under PSC, DGH has role to play in such situations. However, ONGC was asked to resolve the issue independently with RIL, in the first instance.

Director (Exploration) Mr. N K Verma said in the 4th March Press Conference that some data on overlapping gas pools have been exchanged, but things need to progress from thereon. The recent communication from ONGC to the Ministry was to apprise the status to the administrative Ministry. Mr. Verma also clarified in the Conference that such cases happen in the global hydrocarbon industry and they take time to get resolved either mutually or with the intervention of third party experts.

ONGC requests the media fraternity that in the context of the sensitivities of such issues, media should refrain from quoting people erroneously. Such erroneous reporting puts Public Enterprises and Ministries in bad light. In case of doubt, the concerned Public Relations cells can be contacted for the correct quote of the person concerned. Such a practice would enable correct reporting, as well as augment the faith of the public on media. Economic Times and Dainik Jagran are also requested to publish this Rejoinder to enable their readers follow up on the earlier publication.

Issued By
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.
Corporate Communications, New Delhi,
Phone: +91-11-23320032
Tele-Fax: 011-23357860
Mail: ongcdelhicc@ongc.co.in