Saturday, November 18, 2006

>India in global gas top league

Reliance Industries (RIL) has informed the government that the D-6 block in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin has the potential to have gas reserves of up to 50 trillion cubic feet (TCF).

In its revised development plan to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), Reliance has said that the current estimates for the block as a whole (all drilled prospects and identified prospects yet to be drilled) could be around 50 TCF.

Currently, the D-6 block has proven reserves of 14 TCF with a huge upside potential. A lot of exploratory work has been done in the D-6 block to access the hydrocarbon potential and the recoverable reserves in these fields since November ’04, when the initial development plan was approved.

This includes acquisition of additional 3D seismic data, drilling of additional exploratory wells, resulting in 13 discoveries, and extensive coring of two development wells, ” a member of the D-6 development block told ET.

A RIL spokesperson declined comment on the issue. The development is interesting, but the size of the proven reserves has to be confirmed by both Reliance, the DGH and independent experts. Reliance will still have to drill more wells to validate its estimates and the DGH also has a long process of verification.

The KG basin, off India’s eastern seaboard, was a relatively unexplored territory till the last years of the 20th century. It is now proving to be India’s equivalent of North Sea or Gulf of Mexico. Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has already announced a potential discovery of 20 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Deendayal block.

GSPC is sitting on a gold mine. KG basin has huge untapped reserves,” VK Sibal, director general, DGH, said. If RIL’s new estimates and GSPC’s earlier estimates are verified, India could end up with reserves of 109 TCF, making it among the top 10 gas producing countries. It would overtake Kuwait, Canada, Netherlands, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Malaysia.

If RIL and GSPC are able to tap this huge reserves and bring it into commercial production, India’s production of natural gas would more than double to 200 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic metres per day) from the current level of 84 mmscmd, enough to cater to the existing gas demands in the country and India may not rely on importing gas from overseas.

Besides, Reliance production rate of 80 mmscmd by June ’08 is equivalent to 450,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOPD), which is about 25% of the oil import of the country. This enhanced gas reserves would substantially improve the balance of payment situation that is worsening on account of oil imports.

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