"Reliance Industries got Rs 8,500 cr of gas from ONGC’S KG block"
PRIVATE EXPLORER RELIANCE INDUSTRIES (RIL) EXTRACTED AT LEAST 9 BILLION CUBIC METRES (BCM) OF GAS FROM GOVERNMENT-OWNED EXPLORER ONGC’S BLOCK IN THE KRISHNA-GODAVARI BASIN...
Private explorer Reliance Industries (RIL) extracted at least 9 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas from government-owned explorer ONGC’s block in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin block off the Andhra Pradesh coast, according to a draft report by the US-based international consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M).
This means that at an average gas price of $4.20 per million British thermal units and an exchange rate of Rs 60 against the dollar, RIL drilled gas worth Rs 8,000-8,500 crore that belonged to ONGC, say two Mumbai-based analysts.
Sources privy to the development said that having just received D&M’s draft report, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) would now seek comments on D&M’s findings from both explorers.
A final report may take a few more weeks. The petroleum ministry would decide on the action to be taken only after it receives D&M’s final report as reviewed by DGH.
According to D&M’s findings, of around 59.5 bcm of gas that was extracted by RIL since inception (2009) from its block KG-DWN-98/3, commonly known as KG-D6, around 9 bcm or 15% is suspected to have flowed in from the adjacent block, KG-DWN-98/2, which belong to ONGC.
“It is established that the underground reservoir of the two blocks is contiguous,” an official said. Last week, talking on the issue, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in Pune that “the law should take its own course”.
RIL had not responded to an email seeking its comments on the D&M draft findings till the time of going to press. ONGC chairman and managing director Dinesh K Sarraf did not answer calls to seek his views.
ONGC had moved Delhi High Court alleging theft of its gas by RIL by way of drilling wells close to its block. The PSU, however, has not produced oil or gas from the block. On September 10, the Delhi High Court disposed of ONGC’s petition and directed the government to take a decision within six months after it receives the report from an independent panel.
The consultant D&M found that gas flowed out from a few wells drilled by RIL including A5, A9 and B8, which were closer to ONGC block. In addition, gas reservoir from another area — G4, which belongs to ONGC and adjacent to its KG-DWN-98/2 block — is also connected to RIL’s KG-D6.
ONGC’s claim of RIL’s extraction of gas from its block was reiterated when it engaged Schlumberger to drill wells in the block early this year. The results showed that gas pressure in the newly drilled wells had reduced by more than half compared with prior findings. It indicated that gas was drained out of the block.