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Oil ministry to follow SC order in Reliance case

The petroleum ministry would obey the Supreme Court order in its arbitration case against Reliance Industries Ltd on a pricing dispute from oil and gas fields, a senior official said on Thursday.

“What ever the (apex) court has ordered, we will do. I mean whatever is necessary,” Oil Secretary Kapil Dev Tripathi told reporters here on the margins of an event here.

The apex court on September 22 dismissed the ministry’s petition seeking removal of the foreign arbitrator (Peter Leaver) whom Reliance appointed on May 28, 2014 to settle its payment row over Panna-Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields on Mumbai offshore.

Reliance and its British partner (British Gas) abandoned the twin offshore oil fields

Terming the government’s attempt to oust the three arbitrators (Leaver) of Reliance as an abuse of its process, a division bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rohinton F. Nariman said the issue was decided twice in the past.

The other two on the arbitration panel are from the Indian government and a neutral chairman, as was agreed by both parties in the 25-year production-sharing contract, that in the event of arbitration, it would be held in London.