RIL: Bearing the brunt of paralytic governance

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is India’s largest private sector enterprise. With world class core energy operations and an across-the-board range of business functions, RIL leads the industrial pack with its dynamic abilities and execution process. And yet, a company as far-reaching as RIL is rendered as a subject of suspicion every time a process falters.

Speculations have swarmed from every sphere starting with the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), the regulating body of oil and petroleum sector, which lashed out at RIL when the production from 18 wells at its distinguished D6 block in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin hit a low output count earlier this April. RIL had been strenuously working towards achieving it April 2012 target of 80 mmscmd from 31 exploration wells and, incidentally, the production dipped due to falling pressure at the wells. With the likelihood of government’s profit’s being affected, questions were immediately pointed at RIL for lack of consistency. Even when Reliance decided to partner up with British Petroleum (BP) to attain their deep water exploration technical assistance, speculation surged high on the choice of an international partner as against Indian public sector player like GAIL, irrespective of consideration of the large FDI, largest ever seen in the sector, the RIL-BP deal is to generate. Just this June, RIL’s budgetary structure was put under the scanner by audit authority, on claims that it had received partial treatment from the ministry.

RIL has maintained that all their operations have been to fructify the economy first and then focus on profit generation. The audit report sent to oil ministry fails to acknowledge that deepwater exploration is unique technique and comes with its own peculiarities and technical difficulties. Unless an audit of such stature is based on technical evaluation, it renders the reputation of the body in question mottled. As the cost increase, so will the expenditure and to properly and effectively harness the oil reserves, it is necessary to employ the best technology and minds, irrespective of their place of origin. RIL has stood its ground in this cloud of scams that has grayed over the government, and being a sound economic body, it understands the need to function in favor of the economy and its people first.

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