The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is likely to begin auditing of the accounts of KG Basin oil and gas fields of Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Ltd. (RL) from this month.
CAG has been asked to do special audit of not only RIL but also Cairn India’s Rajasthan block and British energy firm BG Group-operated Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields, sources in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry said.
It is learnt that CAG is thinking of constituting a high profile team comprising P. K. Mishra, Principal Director, A. K. Awasthi, Additional Deputy Director, and Dharamendra Kumar, Director, besides many other senior officials.
The audit becomes significant in view of the recent allegations against former Directorate General of Hydrocarbons V. K. Sibal for showing undue favour to RIL in exchange for certain favours to his kin. It is expected that the audit may take several months to complete as it would be looking closely at any kind of fraud indulged in inflating capital expenditure of the development plan.
CAG was asked by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to audit the accounts of RIL, which is facing allegations of gold-plating gas field costs, which has increased four-fold to $8.8 billion.
RIL had on August 17 agreed to an audit by the country’s premier audit body. CAG has so far sought from RIL a list of relevant documents for KG D-6 fields, as it has sorted out issues like legal tenability of audit of production sharing contract (PSCs) and enforceability of corrective steps.
CAG had earlier complained that it could not make any headway in the last two years in the absence of access to the books of private operators, including RIL.