At long last Reliance Industries may have some good news from D6 block — a gas find.

If initial signals from MJ1, a new area discovered in the producing gas fields of the East Coast block, are any indication, RIL and its partners BP and Niko Resources may flow more gas.

The D6 block has been in news because of its falling output after hitting a peak of 60 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd) in end 2009. The major fields in the block D-1 and D-3 and MA together currently produce about 16 mscmd.

Initial assessment of MJ1, based on which drilling started on March 1, showed the area could hold significant gas. The exploratory drilling is likely to be completed in a week after which the find will be tested.

Delayed activity

Only after the testing will the true potential of the field be known, sources said, adding that only thereafter will an official communication be made of the discovery.

The D6 block is seeing exploration activity after almost 15 months.

Drilling had come to a stop due to continued differences with the Comptroller & Auditor General on whether the Government auditor can do a performance audit for private entities.

The CAG has reportedly been asking the Petroleum Ministry not to give the go-ahead to RIL’s D6 investment plans till the operator agrees to unconditional audit.

The issue was resolved with the Petroleum Ministry's intervention and the CAG will now conduct an audit as per the production sharing contract.

In December, the contractors started drilling G2 well in D19 satellite discoveries in the block. Drilling has been completed and appraisal is being done.

If all the four satellite fields coupled with R-Series discovered in the D6 block go on stream then the estimates show that the operator can produce an additional 30 mscmd.

An RIL spokesperson said drilling of MJ1 is still underway and it is too speculative to comment on the results of the well, leave alone measure the quantum of the reserve.

richa.mishra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on April 9, 2013)
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