Reliance Industries has placed a rider for sharing data of its gas-producing KG-D6 block with ONGC.

It will comply only if the public sector company provides access to its data from the adjacent KG-DWN-98/2 block in return.

The company recently communicated as much to the Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) as well as ONGC.

ONGC had sought permission from the Government to access D6 data to study the continuity of the reservoir which sits adjacent to its own. Reliance officials maintain that ONGC wants access to commercial data that is irrelevant to reservoir continuity.

Commercial data

“Sharing the reservoir data or technical data is understandable, but commercial data, which deals with gas price and at what has been the cost involved in production, is of no significance. Besides, it will also not prove whether there has been a drop in ONGC’s reservoir,” sources privy to the development told Business Line.

No allegations

Some reports had suggested that ONGC wanted access to the data because it feared RIL and its partners in the D6 block could be drawing gas from its block. But ONGC has maintained that the request for D6 data does not imply it was making such allegations. An internal assessment by ONGC indicated some shift in ONGC’s reservoir. Seeking information about adjacent blocks for geo-scientific purpose is a common global practice, as it helps understand the area better.

Domestic operators such as Reliance Industries have also done so.

Besides, the production sharing contract allows contractors to access data in the neighbouring blocks after seeking DGH nod.

MoU inked

In July, ONGC signed a memorandum of understanding with Reliance to explore the possibility of sharing the latter’s infrastructural facility in the East Coast. Asked whether the impasse on data sharing will affect infrastructure, a Reliance official said that the two issues could be linked together.

The MoU works out modalities for sharing infrastructure, identifying additional requirements as well as firming up the commercial terms, with an intention of minimising ONGC’s initial capex and also expediting its field development.

Formal pact

The companies intend to enter a formal agreement after conducting a joint study, which will be spread over the next nine months.

richa.mishra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 4, 2013)
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