RIL-BP to invest $1.5 bn in satellite fields

Move may help bring to production six discoveries in the KG-D6 block by 2022

Reliance Industries and its partner BP Plc will invest about $1.5 billion to bring to production six satellite gas discoveries in the flagging KG-D6 block by 2022.

The RIL-BP combine had, on Monday, submitted to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons a field development plan for what are known as satellite and other satellite fields, sources with direct knowledge of development said.

They plan to develop four deepsea satellite gas finds, named D-2, 6, 19 and 22, together with two other nearby finds, D-29 and D-30, in the Krishna Godavari basin block.

In all, 5-6 gas producing wells will be drilled and tied to production facilities, they said, adding peak output may be in the range of 10-12 million standard cubic metres per day. The four satellites and the two other satellite finds (D29 and D30), R-Series and MJ gas discoveries, are the ones for which RIL and BP had, in mid-June, announced an investment of ₹40,000 crore to reserve the flagging production from the KG-D6 block.

Sources said development of the six satellite finds are being taken up together while D-34 or R-Series and D-55 (MJ) would have separate development plans. The government had, in 2012, approved a $1.529 billion plan to produce 10.36 million standard cubic meters per day of gas from four satellite fields of block KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) by 2016-17. The four fields have 617 billion cubic feet of reserves and can produce gas for eight years.

However, the firms did not begin the investment citing uncertainty over gas pricing. Now that the Centre has allowed a higher gas price of $6.3 per million British thermal unit for yet-to-be-developed gas finds in difficult areas like the deepsea, RIL and BP have decided to take up their development.

This rate is comparable with $2.89 per mmBtu for currently producing fields.

Sources said these four finds are now being clubbed with D29 and D30 discoveries, which had been held up over conformity tests.

‘D-34 plan stays’

The RIL-BP combine does not plan to alter the $3.18 billion investment plan for the D-34 or R-Series gas field in the same block, which was approved in August 2013.

About 12.9 mmscmd of gas for 13 years can be produced from D-34, estimated to hold recoverable reserves of 1.4 trillion cubic feet. A separate development plan for the MJ find would be submitted by mid-2018, the sources said.

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