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Shell, RIL, ONGC fined $3 billion in PMT oil field dispute: report

Mumbai: The government has ordered Reliance Industries (RIL), Royal Dutch Shell and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) to pay $3 billion in penalty following an arbitration award in the Panna Mukta Tapti (PMT) oil field dispute that went in favour of the government, Economic Times reported.

“The arbitration panel had upheld the government view that the profit from the fields should be calculated after deducting the prevailing tax of 33%, and not the 50% rate that existed earlier. This will significantly increase the government’s share of profit petroleum. The tribunal also upheld the government’s position that marketing margin should be included in the price of gas, which would also increase its share of profit petroleum as well as a royalty payment,” the ET report said.

RIL and Shell own 30% each in the PMT fields, while ONGC holds 40%. Shell is the operator of the field. Shell assumed the operatorship of the field last year after taking over British Gas (BG).

“The oil ministry sent out a demand notice last month to Reliance and Shell, which own 30% each in the PMT fields off the Mumbai coast, as well as to ONGC that owns the balance 40% participating interest. The three companies have to pay the penalty proportionate to their stake in the fields,” the ET report added.

An RIL spokesperson said the company  has nothing to comment as Shell is the operator of the field. An email sent to Shell and ONGC this morning did not elicit any response till the filing of this report.

RIL’s scrip was trading at Rs1,524.55, down 1.73% on the BSE, while ONGC was up 0.28% at Rs160.50 while Sensex was trading lower by 200 points, 0.63% lower to trade at 31,873.79 points.

By Kalpana Pathak: First Published: Tue, Jul 18 2017. 10 37 AM IST

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