Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy on Friday said the issue of fall in production in the KG Basin D-6 block of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) would be addressed, asserting that the government was not targeting any one company or individual or indulging in witch hunting.

No witch hunting

Talking to journalists after inaugurating the third India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference, jointly organised by the Petroleum Ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry here, Mr. Reddy said: There will be no change in the production sharing contract (PSC) for KG-D6. The PSC does not link cost-recovery to output, but the Petroleum Ministry wants to restrict this in proportion to gas production vis-a-vis the target. If there are changes in the PSC, they will be introduced from future NELP rounds. They will have prospective effect.''

The Ministry has already indicated that it would be initiating action against the Mukesh Ambani-owned company for drop in gas production from the Dhirubhai 1 and 3 gas fields in the KG-D6 block to about 34 million metric cubic metres a day from the 61.88 mmcmd target, by limiting the amount of expenditure it was allowed to recoup.

Mr. Reddy said the government had no intention whatsoever to jeopardise the output from KG-D6. “We will do nothing which will affect the pace and quantum of production. I have no reservation at all about the pace of gas output in the KG Basin. If there are some points of dispute, they will be discussed. They will not be allowed to come in the way of the schedule of work. These things will be discussed by the experts and authorities concerned,'' he added.

Meanwhile, Petroleum Secretary G. C. Chaturvedi said his Ministry was referring the arbitration notice to the Law Ministry for advice before taking the necessary action like appointment of an arbitrator.

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons was calculating as to how much of the $5.693 billion expenditure RIL had incurred on building facilities — which could handle up to 80 mmcmd of output —could be disallowed, he said.