As much as 15 per cent of the gas Reliance Industries (RIL) and its partners pumped out of their KG Basin block could belong to ONGC.

A draft report by American consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M), which inquired into the public sector giant’s charges of RIL pumping out gas from its adjacent block, has indicated the volume drawn from ONGC’s field. The report also confirmed ‘reservoir continuity’.

“The final meeting between the stakeholders and the consultant concluded on October 9 in Dallas. It emerged at the meeting that of the total reserves in D-1 and D-3, about 15 per cent could belong to ONGC,” said an official closely associated with the development. The reserves in the D-1 and D-3 fields of the Reliance-BP-Niko KG D6 block total 2.9 trillion cubic feet, of which 2.1 trillion cubic feet has already been extracted.

The draft report submitted by the American consultant will be assessed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, which may decide to call for a detailed study before reaching any conclusion.

The challenge before the government will be to decide how ONGC will benefit from this situation and by how much. If the government goes solely by the production sharing contract, it can only suggest joint development of the field.

But, according to another source closely associated with the negotiations: “Joint development is not possible as the fields have been producing since 2009 and now have a residual life of just three-four years.”

The east coast has thrown up many geographical challenges for developers, including RIL, ONGC and GSPC.

Most were compelled to rework their field development plans based on a revised understanding of the geology. For instance, Reliance and its partners had to cut in-reserve estimates by about 70 per cent to 2.9 trillion cubic feet from the initial approved estimation of 10 trillion cubic feet.