A BP gas station in Berlin, Germany. (Photographer: Jose Giribas/Bloomberg News)

RIL, BP Submit Plan To Develop India’s Deepest Gas Find By 2021-22

Reliance Industries Ltd. and its partner BP Plc. of U.K. have submitted to the government a $2 -2.5 billion plan to bring India's deepest gas discovery to production by 2021-22.

The partners yesterday submitted to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons a field development plan for the MJ-1 gas find, which is located about 2,000 meters directly below the currently producing Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1 and D3) fields in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block, people with direct knowledge of the development said.

MJ-1 is estimated to hold a minimum of 0.988 trillion cubic feet of contingent resource.

With this, RIL-BP have finalised investment plans totaling $5-5.5 billion (about Rs 33,000 crore to Rs 36,000 crore) for three sets of discoveries in the KG-D6 block.

Earlier this month, they submitted an FDP of $1.4 billion for bringing to production six satellite gas discoveries in the block.

RIL-BP combine had in 2013 submitted a $3.18 billion investment plan for D-34 or R-Series gas field in the same block, the people quoted above said, adding, the actual investment in the find may be only $1.4-1.6 billion.

They said the investment in MJ-1 would be slightly higher because a floating production storage and offloading will be used to produce the gas.

Work on the three sets of discoveries will start sometime in 2018 and contracting for equipment and services has already started.

In May 2013, RIL, BP and Niko Resources of Canada had struck a 155-metres thick gas condensate column in the exploration well KGD6-MJ1, which was later named as D55 or MJ-1 discovery.

MJ-1 is one of the three clusters that the partners are focusing on reviving the flagging output at KG-D6.

Besides MJ-1, four deep sea satellite gas discoveries: D-2, 6, 19 and 22 are planned to be developed together with D29 and D30 finds on the block. The investment in these satellite fields would be $1.4 billion. The third set is the D-34 or R-Series find.

All the three sets of finds will produce 30 to 35 million standard cubic meters per day of gas, the people quoted earlier said.

RIL and BP had in mid-June this year announced investing Rs 40,000 crore in the three sets of finds to reverse the flagging production in KG-D6 block.

RIL has so far made 19 gas discoveries in the KG-D6 block. Of these, D1 and D3, the largest among the lot, were brought into production from April 2009 but output has fallen sharply from 54 million metric standard cubic meter per day in March 2010, to 3-4 mmscmd.

MA is the only other field that was put to production. Together, the three fields today produce less than 6 mmscmd gas.

Other discoveries have either been surrendered or taken away by the government for not meeting timelines for beginning production.

RIL is the operator of the block with 60 percent interest while BP has 30 percent stake. Niko has the remaining 10 percent shares.