Chronology of the Krishna-Godavari gas dispute

Monday, October 19, 2009

NEW DELHI - Following is the chronology of events surrounding the dispute over gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin between the Anil Ambani group and his elder brother Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries:

February 1999: A consortium led by Reliance Industries emerges winner of the global auction for an exploration block in the basin, called KG-DWN-98-3, or the KGD6

March 2000: The name of the contractor changed from Reliance Platforms Communications to Global Fuel Management Services and then to Reliance Natural Resources

April 2000: Reliance Industries and the government execute production sharing contract

October 2002: Significant discovery of gas reserves announced from KG-D6

September 2003-May 2004: Reliance Industries submits bids for supply of gas to state-run NTPC

April 2004: Production sharing contract executed and tabled in parliament

June 2004: Reliance Industries signs pact with Uttar Pradesh for world’s largest gas-based power plant with a capacity of 3,500 MW at Dadri near Delhi

June-July 2004: Reliance Industries selected and letter of intent issued by NTPC

June 2005: Memorandum of understanding to reorganise Reliance Industries signed between Ambani brothers. Anil resigns as joint managing director

August 2005: Brothers sign non-compete pact. Reliance Industries board approves scheme of de-merger

September-October 2005: Application filed with Bombay High Court for scheme of de-merger. Shareholders approve scheme

December 2005: Court sanctions de-merger. Financial services, telecom and power businesses transferred to Anil group. Mukesh keeps other businesses

Jan 10, 2006: RIL board approves the draft GSMA to be signed with Reliance Natural Resources

Jan 12, 2006: The board of directors of Reliance Industries approves pact that calls for 28 million units of gas to be supplied to Anil Ambani group and up to 40 million units if the contract with NTPC does not materialise

February 2006: The board of Reliance Natural Resources reconstituted and alleges deviations in the original agreement

February-July 2006: Reliance Natural seeks permission from oil ministry to lay pipelines for transporting gas from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh to Dadri. Reliance Industries asks ministry to approve gas price at $2.34 per unit based on bids called by NTPC. But permission denied

Nov 8, 2006: Reliance Natural takes the dispute to court. Later, company wants Reliance Industries to be restrained from selling 28 million units of gas to any third party. Also wants similar sanction for 12 million units if NTPC contract does not materialise

May 3, 2007: Court allows Reliance Industries to sell gas in the interim, subject to its final order

June 2007: Reliance Industries invites quotations from power and fertiliser companies to facilitate the fixing the price of gas as per market conditions

June 9, 2007: Reliance Natural writes to oil ministry suggesting court order prevented it from granting approval to the price as was being sought by Reliance Industries

June 19, 2007: Reliance Natural seeks further restraining order against Reliance Industries in respect of the balance of the 40 million units of gas

August 2007: Reliance Industries invites bids for price and quantity for sale of KGD6 gas and asks oil ministry to approve sale at $4.32 per unit

September 2007: Ministerial panel approves gas price formula at $4.21 per unit

October 2007: Government sets gas distribution priorities with first preference to existing fertilizer, cooking gas, and steel units, as also new power plants like the Dadri project

May 2008: Empowered group of ministers approves a gas utilisation policy

Jan 30, 2009: Hearings conclude. Interim order passed allowing Reliance Industries to execute sale to various customers for five years in accordance with government policy

March 2009: Oil ministry finalises gas allocation from KGD6 for fertiliser and power companies

June 15, 2009: Division bench upholds the Ambani family gas agreement and directs Reliance Industries and Reliance Natural to enter into a gas supply pact within a month

June 19, 2009: Reliance Natural files caveat in apex court on gas price issue after Bombay High Court order upholds its position on the gas price in its dispute with Reliance Industries

June 23, 2009: Reliance Natural invites Reliance Industries for talks on high court judgement, but Reliance Industries says it is studying the implication

July 1, 2009: Reliance Industries says it will appeal to the Supreme Court against high court ruling. Says supplies to Reliance Industries not possible at $2.34 per unit, as it is bound by government price of $4.20 per unit

July 3, 2009: Reliance Natural moves Supreme Court to make gas supply from KGD6 binding on Reliance Industries

July 4, 2009: Reliance Industries moves apex court challenging high court orders saying the verdict erred in deciding the three terms - quantity, tenure and price of gas supply

July 5, 2009: Reliance Industries makes government a party in its petition

July 7, 2009: Apex court issues notice to Reliance Industries, Reliance Natural Resources and the government on cross-appeals

July 17, 2009: Government asks court to make it a respondent

July 18, 2009: The government files a petition wanting Ambani family pact that deals with gas supplies to be declared null and void

July 19, 2009: Government says gas is its property

July 20, 2009: Supreme Court calls for counter-replies and fixes Sep 1 as date of hearing

July 22, 2009: Prime Minister’s Office wants oil ministry to explain why it has been accused by Anil Ambani group of siding with Reliance Industries over gas dispute

July 28-Aug 3, 2009: Anil Ambani lashes out at oil ministry for allegedly favouring his elder brother. Matter also rocks parliament, where Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav demands resignation of Petroleum Minister Murli Deora. But Deora says gas does not belong to either Mukesh or Ambani, but the government.

Aug 4, 2009: Oil regulator rejects Anil Ambani group’s charges of acts of omission and commission in allowing capital expenditure of KGD6 gas to be hiked from $2.4 billion to $8.8 billion.

Aug 28, 2009: Reliance Industries says NTPC was told gas price of $2.34 was subject to government approval. Apex court lists hearing for Oct 20

Sep 14, 2009: Reliance Natural accuses Reliance Industries of charging illegal marketing margins

Sep 15, 2009: Anil Ambani Group asks apex Court to make NTPC a party to dispute

Sep 24, 2009: NTPC signs pact with Reliance Industries to buy a part of natural gas, other than the quantity under dispute, at $4.20 per unit.

Oct 5, 2009: Reliance Industries says chairman Mukesh had signed pact on natural gas with Anil Ambani Group in personal capacity without approval from other board members

Oct 9, 2009: Anil Ambani threatens to sue oil regulator saying he made false allegations against his group

Oct 11, 2009: Anil Ambani says two brothers can still sit across the table and resolve matters amicably, but Reliance Industries says only court can settle matters now.

Filed under: Court, Immigration

will not be displayed