Gas price hike from K-G basin subject to order on PIL, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Monday said that the government's decision to double the gas price from the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin will be subject to the court orders on the PIL led by CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta, who has challenged the hike claiming it was done only to benefit Reliance Industries Ltd.

While posting the matter on March 4 for final hearing, a bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam observed that the decision to hike the price while the matter remained pending in the court would be subject to the orders finally passed by the court.

Dasgupta, in his latest affidavit, has urged the court to order initiation of termination proceedings against the RIL over extraction of natural gas from the K-G basin.

Dasgupta has also disputed the credentials of the members of the Rangarajan Committee, which had favoured a new formula for fixing the price of natural gas, leading to a near doubling of prices to $8.4 per mmBtu.

The affidavit pointed out that J Mauskar, former special secretary, who was one of the members of the Committee, had joined the Observer Research Foundation — a think tank funded by RIL, after the report was submitted.

At least 56 oil & gas blocks to be auctioned on revamped terms

New Delhi: India will offer at least 56 oil and gas blocks for bidding under completely revamped terms, oil secretary Vivek Rae said on Monday.

"We will profile 56 blocks at the Petrotech conference next week. But notice inviting tender (or bids) will come out some time next month," he said on the sidelines of an industry event.

The 10th round of auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-X) will require bidders to quote the amount of oil or gas output they are willing to offer to the government from day one of production, he said. pti

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