Home Economy Rework gas deal in four months, court tells Ambani brothers

Rework gas deal in four months, court tells Ambani brothers

Mumbai,(IANS) The Bombay High Court Monday asked the Ambani brothers to rework within the next four months a “bankable agreement” between themselves on the pricing and sale of natural gas discovered by Reliance Industries.

The court said either party could come back to it if they fail to rework a deal – technically called a gas supply master agreement (GSMA).

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and his brother Anil’s Reliance Energy have been at loggerheads over the terms of GSMA for the supply of gas from the offshore oil fields in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin.

The matter was pending in the Bombay High court over the past couple of years.

Reading the operative part of the order, Justice A.V. Motha said the GSMA would have be in accordance with the family pact between the two brothers prior to the split of the Reliance group founded by their father Dhirubhai Ambani.

“The renegotiated GSMA should be a bankable agreement to be worked out within four months. And either of the parties may come and approach the court if they fail to rework the deal within four months,” the court said.

The court order relates to a dispute over the sale of gas from the large find of Reliance Industries in the KG basin to Reliance Natural Resources Ltd, which is run by Anil Ambani, for the latter’s power projects.

Reliance Natural Resources says it has usage rights over a large quantity of gas from the field and went to court against Reliance Industries last, year alleging non-fulfilment of certain conditions.

Mukesh Ambani’s company refuted the allegations and sought a stay on the court’s interim order. Gas from the KG basin is slated to start accruing from June 2008 and delays in the sale deeds could derail the process.

Both sides refused comment on the court’s order. “We are not going to make any statement on the order,” a senior official of Reliance Industries told IANS.

Similarly, an official of Reliance Energy said that they would like to study the order thoroughly. “We are yet to study the order to make any comments now,” the said.