Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) said the company and its partner BP Plc plan to jointly invest more than $5 billion over the next three to five years to boost output at a key natural gas field off India’s east coast.
Besides detailing a $5-billion investment plan over the next 3-5 years, BP Chief Executive Bod Dudley and RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani in their first joint meeting with Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily may have also discussed the dispute with CAG over audit of spendings in flagging KG-D6 gas block.
Dudley and Ambani in the meeting that lasted nearly an hour, briefed Moily of plans to develop 4 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in the KG-D6 where production has dropped to about 19 million standard cubic metres per day, which is less than a third of 62 mmscmd peak hit in 2010.
The duo, flanked by BP India head Sashi Mukundan and RIL Executive Director P M S Prasad, updated Moily of "joint future plans in India, including the KG D6 block enhancement plan designed to increase production from the block", RIL-BP said in a joint statement.
The D6 block in Krishna Godavari basin is jointly operated by the two energy companies and was expected to contribute up to a quarter of the gas supply for Asia's third-largest economy, but output from the block has been declining.
The two companies are planning to invest in a series of projects to develop around 4 trillion cubic feet of discovered natural gas resources from the block, Reliance said in a statement on Tuesday.
While the investment in the new reserves, that lie in satellite fields surrounding the currently producing Dhirubhai-1 & 3 (D1&D3) gas fields and MA oil and gas field, will take 3-5 years, RIL-BP plan to augment current production next year by upgrading facilities at D1&D3 and MA fields.
"They briefed (me) about their investment plans. I encouraged them to invest more to help in India's energy security," Moily said.
Moily, who was joined by Oil Secretary Vivek Rae at the meeting, assured expeditious decision making.
He, however, refused to say if RIL-BP raised the issue of CAG's second round of audit of KG-D6 spendings.