Mukesh at AGM: Timely approvals, market prices key to developing oil & gas resources

Oil and gas major Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has lined up capital expenditure of ₹1.80 lakh crore for the next three years on its petrochemicals, telecom and retail ventures.

Addressing the company’s 40th annual general meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday, Chairman Mukesh Ambani said that in the oil and gas business, timely regulatory approvals and market-based prices would be key to developing resources to address the country’s energy needs.

Reliance Industries and its partners have been embroiled in a controversy with the Government over the price of gas.

Arbitration process

“We, along with our partners, BP and Niko, have initiated the arbitration process seeking implementation of the Domestic Natural Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014.

“We have an ongoing arbitration with the Government on the issue of disallowance of cost recovery and will continue to work with them … to achieve prompt and efficient resolution on the matter,” he added.

New discoveries

Maintaining that the joint venture has made further discoveries in the KG-D6 and CYD5 blocks, the Chairman said it is now in the process of carrying out an appraisal of the discoveries to assess their potential.

Terming the next three years as “transformational” for the company, Ambani emphasised that the key focus for the capex would be petrochemicals.

“The petrochemical business will benefit from the highest capital allocation among the three energy businesses. The petrochem business is being strengthened to add value to the refining and feedstock streams.

Telecom and retail

Besides petrochemicals, FY15 and FY16 would also see the company focus on its telecom and retail investments, while 2016-17 will be the first full year for the benefits to start showing, Ambani said.

Outlining plans to invest ₹70,000 crore in its telecom business, he said 2015 would see a phased launch of the Reliance Jio platform, with expanded field trials starting in August this year.

“The fruits of the tremendous value created by this ₹70,000 crore initiative will start to flow,” said Ambani.

(This article was published on June 18, 2014)
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