Section 20 in The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006

Title: Declaring, laying, building, etc., of common carrier or contract carrier and city or local natural gas distribution network

Description: (1) If the Board is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient, to declare an existing pipeline for transportation of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas or an existing city or local natural gas distribution network, as a common carrier or contract carrier or to regulate or allow access to such pipeline or network, it may give wide publicity of its intention to do so and invite objections and suggestions within a specified time from all persons and entities likely to be affected by such decision. (2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the Board shall provide the entity owning, the pipeline or network an opportunity of being heard and fix the terms and conditions subject to which the pipeline or network may be declared as a common carrier or contract carrier and pass such orders as it deems fit having regard to the public interest, competitive transportation rates and right of first use. (3) The Board may, after following the procedure as specified by regulations under section 19 and sub-sections (1) and (2), by notification,-- (a) declare a pipeline or city or local natural gas distribution network as a common carrier or contract carrier; or (b) authorise an entity to lay, build, operate or expand a pipeline as a common carrier or contract carrier; or (c) allow access to common carrier or contract carrier or city or local natural gas distribution network; or (d) authorise an entity to lay, build, operate or expand a city or local natural gas distribution network. (4) The Board may decide on the period of exclusivity to lay, build, operate or expand a city or local natural gas distribution network for such number of years as it may by order, determine in accordance with the principles laid down by the regulations made by it, in a transparent manner while fully protecting the consumer interests. (5) For the purposes of this section, the Board shall be guided by the objectives of promoting competition among entities, avoiding infructuous investment, maintaining or increasing supplies or for securing equitable distribution or ensuring adequate availability of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas throughout the country and follow such principles as the Board may, by regulations, determine in carrying out its functions under this section.

Title: Right of first use, etc

Description: (1) The entity laying, building, operating or expanding a pipeline for transportation of petroleum and petroleum products or laying, building, operating or expanding a city or local natural gas distribution network shall have right of first use for its own requirement and the remaining capacity shall be used amongst entities as the Board may, after issuing a declaration under section 20, determine having regard to the needs of fair competition in marketing and availability of petroleum and petroleum products throughout the country: Provided that in case of an entity engaged in both marketing of natural gas and laying, building, operating or expanding a pipeline for transportation of natural gas on common carrier or contract carrier basis, the Board shall require such entities to comply with the affiliate code of conduct as may be specified by regulations and may require such entity to separate the activities of marketing of natural gas and the transportation including ownership of the pipeline within such period as may be allowed by the Board and only within the said period, such entity shall have right of first use. (2) An entity other than an entity authorised to operate shall pay transportation rate for use of common carrier or contract carrier to the entity operating it as an authorised entity. (3) An entity authorised to lay, build, operate or expand a pipeline as common carrier or contract carrier or to lay, build, operate or expand a city or local natural gas distribution network shall be entitled to institute proceedings before the Board to prevent, or to recover damages for, the infringement of any right relating to authorisation. Explanation.--For the purposes of this sub-section, "infringement of any right" means doing of any act by any person which interferes with common carrier or contract carrier or causes prejudice to the authorised entity.

Title: Transportation tariff

Description: (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Board shall lay down, by regulations, the transportation tariffs for common carriers or contract carriers or city or local natural gas distribution network and the manner of determining such tariffs. (2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the Board shall be guided by the following, namely:-- (a) the factors which may encourage competition, efficiency, economic use of the resources, good performance and optimum investments; (b) safeguard the consumer interest and at the same time recovery of cost of transportation in a reasonable manner; (c) the principles rewarding efficiency in performance; (d) the connected infrastructure such as compressors, pumps, metering units, storage and the like connected to the common carriers or contract carriers; (e) benchmarking against a reference tariff calculated based on cost of service, internal rate of return, net present value or alternate mode of transport; (f) policy of the Central Government applicable to common carrier, contract carrier and city or local distribution natural gas network.

Title: Suspension or cancellation of authorization

Description: If the Board, on an application of an affected party or on its own motion, is satisfied that the entity in favour of which authorisation has been granted under section 19 has failed to comply with any conditions of authorisation, it may, after giving an opportunity to such entity of being heard, either suspend the authorisation for such period as the Board may think fit or cancel the authorisation: Provided that where the Board is of the opinion that an authorised entity persistently acts in a manner prejudicial to the interests of consumers, it may take action for the suspension of the authorisation immediately subject to the opportunity of hearing being given subsequently, after which action so taken may be confirmed or revoked.

Title: Board to settle disputes

Description: (1) Save as otherwise provided for arbitration in the relevant agreements between entities or between an entity or any other person, as the case may be, if any dispute arises, in respect of matters referred to in sub-section (2) among entities or between an entity and any other person, such dispute shall be decided by a Bench consisting of the Member (Legal) and one or more members nominated by the Chairperson: Provided that if the members of the Bench differ on any point or points, they shall state the point or points on which they differ and refer the same to a member other than a member of the Bench for hearing on such point or points and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of that member. (2) The Bench constituted under sub-section (1) shall exercise, on and from the appointed day, all such jurisdiction, powers and authority as were exercisable by a civil court on any matter relating to— (a) refining, processing, storage, transportation and distribution of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas by the entities; (b) marketing and sale of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas including the quality of service and security of supply to the consumers by the entities; and (c) registration or authorisation issued by the Board under section 15 or section 19. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), the Board shall have the power to decide matters referred to in sub-section (2) on or after the appointed day.