02 August, 2021

In Our Gaseous State

Exclusive extracts from a new book on the KG Basin gas controversy reveals for the first time the views of two key players well acquainted, through first-hand knowledge, with Reliance’s moves on the pricing and use of natural gas

In Our Gaseous State

Subir Raha
Former chairman of ONGC, 2001-06

When Raha met the lead author of this book on September 17, 2009, the cancer in his lungs was spreading. His hair had thinned after several rounds of chemotherapy. Still, he was remarkably alert. His words poured out in torrents; he was crystal clear about his convictions and his conclusions. He imposed only one condition before he started talking—he wanted to go through and vet the detailed transcript of the interview before a single word attributed to him was published. The transcript was sent to him, but he never got back. On February 1, 2010, Subir Raha passed away. He was 62.

In the first round of bidding under the new policy, that is, NELP-I, the Reliance group emerged as the winner in most blocks. In an open and transparent bidding process, ONGC lost out to Reliance in the race for a number of blocks. Raha said he had heard that secret information about the ONGC bids had been leaked out, though he could not independently confirm who had done this and for whom. “My guess is as...

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