HC adjourns RIL, RNRL hearing till Oct 6

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Mumbai, Sep 30 (UNI) Bombay High Court today adjourned the hearing on the dispute between Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) and Reliance Industries (RIL), over the supply of natural gas from the RIL's eastern offshore Krishna-Godavari gas fields, till October 6.

Hearing on the petition was adjourned due to non availability of division bench comprising Justice J N Patel and Justice K K Tatde, which was hearing the matter, for last several occasions.

The court had earlier restrained Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries from entering into gas sales contracts with parties other than Anil Ambani Group's Reliance Natural Resources and state-run NTPC, but had agreed with the Government set price of USD 4.20 per million British thermal unit of KG-D6 gas.

Reliance Industries is set to begin gas production in KG-D6 from January, at an initial rate of 25 million standard cubic meters per day, climbing up to 40 mmscmd by March 2009, but with the court restraint it has not been able to enter into sale contracts.

RNRL claims right over 28 mmscmd of gas from KG-D6 at USD 2.34 per mmBtu, the price at which RIL had bid in a tender floated by NTPC for sourcing gas. The NTPC contract was not honoured as the two firms are in court over certain clauses in the contract.

The Anil Ambani Group, citing family demerger agreement, claims right over the 12 mmscmd gas, RIL had committed to NTPC, if its deal with the state-run firm falls.

Reliance, which sees peak output from KG-D6 at 80 mmscmd, wants the initial 40 mmscmd freed for sale to customers other than RNRL and NTPC.

The High Court is likely to adjudicate over the claims made by the two parties. Meanwhile, the Central Government has impleaded in the case, saying natural gas was a national resource and it cannot be locked over family disputes.

UNI AAA SR AE DS1525

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