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The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board on Wednesday withdrew from the Supreme Court its appeal challenging a power tribunal’s decision that quashed the board’s 2012 order fixing the provisional natural gas pipeline tariff for Reliance Industries Ltd at R23.99 per MBTU with retrospective effect from November 2008. A bench headed by justice T S Thakur allowed PNGRB to withdraw its appeal, but kept the question of law open.
The decision to withdraw the appeal may have been taken in the wake of the apex court’s January judgment that held that the board, which regulates downstream transport tariffs for oil and gas, is not empowered to fix any component of network tariff or compression charge for entities having their own distribution network.
The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity had in January last year asked the board to pass a fresh order after hearing the contentions of RIL. The tariff order related to RIL using Gujarat State Petronet’s pipelines for the transportation of gas from Bhadbut at a price of R12.45 per MBTU and Hazira/Dahej for the price of R21.63 per MBTU to RIL’s Jamnagar refinery in Gujarat.
The board had passed a provisional order on September 11, 2012 fixing initial natural gas pipeline tariff on a “levelised basis” for the Gujarat Petroleum High Pressure Gas Grid network at R23.99 per MBTU with retrospective effect from November 20, 2008. The retrospective order was challenged by RIL in the tribunal.
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