Reliance strikes more gas off east coast

Wednesday, 26 February 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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India's largest private conglomerate Reliance Industries has struck more gas off the east coast, raising its estimated gas reserves to over nine trillion cubic feet.

NEW DELHI: The latest find occurred in the Krishna-Godavari basin

Reserves in the fourth of six wells drilled in block KG-DWN-98/3 (D6) awarded in the first round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) is estimated to be around two trillion cubic feet, according to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH).

"We are still to appraise the reserves in the fourth well Reliance has named Dhirubhai-4. After appraisal, we will have to decide how many more wells have to be drilled before arriving at an estimate of the reserves," Avinash Chandra, director-general of DGH, the nodal agency for monitoring, exploration and production activities, told IANS.

The earlier discoveries in three locations in the block, located 25 km offshore from Andhra Pradesh and covering 7,645 sq km, has been estimated at around seven trillion cubic feet. The earlier discoveries have been named Dhirubhai-I, II and III.

Reliance holds the block in a consortium with Canada's Niko Resource, which has a 10 percent stake.

If the appraisal proves the reserves estimate, DGH feels the plateau production from the block could go up from 30-40 million standard cubic metres per day over a period of eight years.

Britain's Cairn Energy, which holds the adjacent block KG-DWN-98/2 or D6 towards the west, has already made some discoveries in the same region though not as big as Reliance. Its reserves are conservatively estimated at one trillion cubic feet.

Chandra expects more discoveries of gas in the Cairn block after more wells are drilled.

Dhirubhai-I well named after former chairman of Reliance Industries, is estimated to have in place reserves of 3.3-3.5 trillion cubic feet (TCF).

So far, Reliance is yet to submit its plans for commercial exploitation of the Dhirubhai-III well that has estimated reserves of about 4.1 TCF.

Together with the Dhirubhai-II well with in place reserves of 0.2 TCF, this region has proved DGH estimation of large hydrocarbon potential in the area.

Many more gas finds are expected in the blocks awarded to Reliance Industries in the K-G basin with only one-third of the area explored so far, said Chandra.

"With only six wells drilled so far and just 23 percent of the area explored so far, we expect there to be more gas in and around this area," said Chandra.

Reliance holds interest in 23-exploration acreage in India in a consortium with other exploration and production companies. Reliance is the operator in 21 of these blocks that cover a wide range of geological settings, spanning shallow and deep waters on the east and west coasts of India.

Reliance has engaged Dallas-based petroleum consultants D&M as advisors for the exploration and production programmes for the K-G basin blocks.

Reliance has chalked out plans to start commercial production well before end of 2004.
Source: IANS

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