• Making efforts to sustain production in the KG basin: Mukesh Ambani

    A day after the A.P. Shah Committee opined that Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) drew gas from the adjacent block belonging to state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin, RIL’s chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said the private explorer is making best efforts to sustain production in the complex deepwater basin. Ambani was addressing the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday in Mumbai, wherein he announced the launch of Reliance Jio telecom service starting 5 September. The one-man Committee submitted a report late on 31 August to petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan alleging that RIL has produced 9 billion cu. metre (bcm) of gas out of the 11 bcm that flowed from the ONGC block to that of RIL from the deepwater field off the coast of Andhra Pradesh between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2015.

    “Our KG D6 block has produced 2.6 tcf (trillion cu. feet) of gas and 29 million barrels of crude oil since commencement of output. We are making our best efforts to sustain production from this complex deepwater basin,” Ambani said on Thursday. The Shah Committee report concluded that RIL should pay the government for the natural gas it has drawn from the adjacent block in the past seven years. “The Committee also notes that the question of quantification of unfair enrichment is to be decided by the government of India, with the principle that whatever benefit RIL received in terms of the migrated gas is liable to be returned to the government of India. The Committee faced significant limitations in giving a figure to the final value of the migrated gas produced by RIL during the term of its lease, due to the lack of data and the Committee’s inherent technical limitations,” the report available on the petroleum and natural gas ministry’s website said.

    India imports one-third of its energy requirements. The country imported 202.85 MT of crude oil in 2015-16 for Rs.4.16 trillion. For 2014-15, India imported 189 MT of crude oil at a cost of Rs.6.87 trillion. “We are also evaluating, along with our partner BP, development plans to monetise the remaining resources of 4-5 tcf from this block, in the framework of the new gas pricing policy,” Ambani said. RIL has 60% interest in KG-D6 block while Niko Resources Ltd of Canada holds 10%. BP Plc of the UK holds the remaining 30%. Ambani also announced that RIL’s over 1,050 fuel retail outlets are operational across India and another 200 are at advanced stages of being re-commissioned. Phil Esposito Jersey

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