RIL shuts oil production facilities in KG-D6

RIL shuts oil production facilities in KG-D6

New Delhi: Reliance Industries (RIL) has shutdown production facilities at an oil field in its showpiece KG-D6 block off the Andhra coast for maintenance without any impact on production till now.

RIL on 31 July took a shutdown to do maintenance work at a compressor on the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit operating in the MA oilfield, sources said.

MA oilfield produces a little less than 15,000 barrels per day of oil and about 7.6 million standard cubic meters per day of natural gas from the five wells.

The wells have not been shutdown and they continue to produce at almost normal rate, sources said.

KG-D6 block, which besides MA oilfield also includes the gigantic Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1 and D3) gas fields, is producing about 45.4 mmscmd of gas today as compared to over 46 mmscmd last week.

Sources said the maintenance work will last 12-14 days and gas production from MA field will be shut for only 36-48 hours around this weekend.

Sources said wells in the MA field have not been shutdown during the maintenance of FPSO which pumps out oil from the field. The wells continue to produce oil and gas.

While gas production from MA oilfield has come down by 0.2-0.3 mmscmd, one out of the 16 production wells in the D1 and D3 has also been shutdown for maintenances, reducing output by 0.4-0.5 mmscmd.

The Krishna Godavari basin Block KG-DWN-98/3 (D6) has 19 oil and gas finds. Of these, the largest, Dhirubhai-1 and 3 finds and an oil field, MA, have been put into production.

RIL plans to upgrade a gas compressor during the shutdown. For two days, all gas will have to be flared and there will be none available for sale, sources said.

The present output is just enough to meet the contracted demand of core sectors -- 15.35 mmscmd of fertiliser units, 29 mmscmd of power plants, 0.65 mmscmd of city gas distribution firms and 2.59 mmscmd to LPG plants.

Sources said in May, the oil ministry had directed that production from KG-D6 will first go to meet the contracted demand of core users. If any gas is left after that, it can go to non-core sectors like petrochemicals, refineries and steel.

In event of output falling below what has been allocated to core users, fuel will first be supplied to fertilizer plants to their full requirement, then to LPG plants, power and lastly to city gas users.

If this priority remains, then city gas companies like Indraprastha Gas Ltd, which sell CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in Delhi, will run dry for about two weeks. Supplies to LPG plants of GAIL would also be impacted unless the oil ministry says the cut in supplies would be pro-rata.