New Delhi: BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley will on October 19 share dais with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the first time since the Europe`s second-largest oil company invested in India.
Dudley will be the guest of honour at the 3rd convocation of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University at Gandhinagar on October 19, according to a notice on the university`s website.
Modi will be the chief guest at the function.
Dudley`s India partner Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani invited him to the Convocation. Ambani is the chairman of the Board of Governors of the University.
This will be Dudley`s third visit to India this year. His visit in February 2013 happened against the backdrop of a dispute with CAG over audit of spendings in RIL-BP`s flagging KG-D6 gas block.
In April, he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking market prices for natural gas as current sub-market rates were not drawing big investments.
The government agreed to a revision in gas prices from April next year but BP and its partner RIL may not be a beneficiary from the gas they currently produce from KG-D6 block because of strong opposition both within and outside the government.
Dudley, who is also expected to make a trip to the national capital for a meeting with Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily, is visiting India at a time when his BP-RIL joint venture is facing multiple regulatory challenges.
While oil regulator DGH is seeking USD 1.786 billion in penalty from RIL-BP for producing less natural gas than projected from KG-D6 block, Moily`s ministry wants to deprive them of a revision in gas prices from April next year to punish them for the same reason.
Also, DGH wants the company to give up 85 per cent of the KG-D6 block area including 8 discoveries holding close to 1.2 Trillion cubic meters of in-place gas reserves because it feels RIL-BP have overshoot time allocated to them for developing the finds.
BP holds 30 per cent interest in seven oil and gas blocks operated by RIL.
Dudley`s visit comes a year after the British High Commission to India visited Modi to end a decade long diplomatic isolation that western nations had imposed on him after the 2002 Gujarat riots.