New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will halt output of 8 million cubic meters per day (mcmd) of gas and about 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil at its MA field, off the east coast, for two days later this week during maintenance of a floating platform, an industry source said on Wednesday.
The maintenance on the floating platform which is attached to the field started on 31 July and is expected to last for two weeks, the source said on condition of anonymity.
“There is a maintenance of (the floating platform) for two weeks. It started on July 31,” the source said.
“Except for these two days, output from D6 (block) will be normal or close to normal,” the industry source said, adding current gas output from D1 and D3 fields at the block is about 38 mcmd.
Gas output from Krishna Godavari basin-located D6 block, the country’s biggest producer, in the June quarter was 31% below the target approved under the field development plan, junior oil minister R.P.N. Singh said on Tuesday.
“The average gas production during April-June 2011 from KG-DWN-98/3 (D6) block is 48.60 million cubic meters per day (mcmd), which is less than the approved field development plan rate of 70.39 mcmd,” Singh told lawmakers.
The upstream regulator DGH (Directorate General of Hydrocarbons) has asked Reliance to drill more development wells in D1 and D3 gas fields to raise output.
Reliance has been under fire over the past few months from the upstream regulator, investors and analysts due to slowing gas output.
Reliance agreed in February to sell a 30% stake in 23 of its oil and gas blocks, including the D6 block, to BP to benefit from the firm’s deepwater exploration expertise. It recently got cabinet approval for the deal.
India needs gas to help power its electricity generation, fertilizer sector, city gas distribution and for industries and needs LNG imports as domestic production struggles to keep pace with demand.
Beacause of falling output at D6, India’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose by 45% to 1.03 million tonnes in June from the previous month.
In reply to a separate question on Tuesday, Singh said India’s LNG imports were likely to rise to meet growing gas demand. India is the world’s eighth-largest importer of LNG.
He said in 2010-11 India consumed 167 mcmd gas and of this 35 mcmd or 21% was met through LNG imports.