Oil ministry defers CAG audit meet on RIL's KG-D6 block

Mukesh AmbaniThe ministry of petroleum and natural gas has postponed today's scheduled meeting with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) ahead of its second round of audit of Reliance Industries' (RIL) KG-D6 oil and gas producing block.

Instead, officials of RIL and the ministry are meeting to break the current impasse over the KG-D6 block.

The CAG had called an entry conference with RIL and the oil ministry today to begin its second round of audit that would cover RIL's spending on KG-D6 gas fields during 2008-09 to 2011-12.

The decision comes after the new minister Veerappy Moily who took charge at the ministry of petroleum and natural gas decided to call RIL after the company wrote to it on 18 October.

RIL, in its letter, has sought written assurance that CAG's audit would be of accounting books and records as provided under the production sharing contract (PSC) and that the company would not be "required to provide documents, information or any clarification of matters which go beyond scope of audit under Section 1.9 of the Accounting Procedure of the PSC".

The ministry, however, wanted RIL to give CAG "unfettered access to account books". RIL also wanted the government to clear pending investments, which are necessary to reverse the drop in output from the fields.