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Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and BP on Friday announced the start of production from the R Cluster, ultra-deep-water gas field in KG-D6 block off the east coast of India.

RIL and BP are developing three deepwater gas projects in KG-D6 block – R Cluster, Satellites Cluster and MJ – which together are expected to meet 15% of India’s gas demand by 2023.

RIL is the operator of KG-D6 block with a 66.67% participating interest and BP holds a 33.33% participating interest.

"R Cluster is the first of the three projects to come onstream. The field is located about 60 kilometers from the existing KG D6 Control & Riser Platform (CRP) off the Kakinada coast and comprises a subsea production system tied back to CRP via a subsea pipeline. Located at a water depth of greater than 2000 meters, it is the deepest offshore gas field in Asia. The field is expected to reach plateau gas production of about 12.9 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) in 2021," RIL said in an official statement.

“We are proud of our partnership with bp that combines our expertise in commissioning gas projects expeditiously, under some of the most challenging geographical and weather conditions. This is a significant milestone in India's energy landscape, for a cleaner and greener gas-based economy. Through our deep-water infrastructure in the Krishna Godavari basin we expect to produce gas and meet the growing clean energy requirements of the nation," said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited.

“This start-up is another example of the possibility of our partnership with Reliance, bringing the best of both companies to help meet India’s rapidlyexpanding energy needs. Growing India’s own production of cleaner-burning gas to meet a significant portion of its energy demand, these three new KG D6 projects will support the country’s drive to shape and improve its future energy mix," said BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney.

The next project, the Satellites Cluster, is expected to come onstream in 2021 followed by theMJ project in 2022.

Peak gas production from the three fields is expected to be around 30 mmscmd (1 bcf/d) by 2023 which is expected to be about 25% of India’s domestic production and will help reduce the country’s dependence on imported gas.

RIL's flagship D1/D3 gas field in the KG-D6 block, ceased gas production this February after being put to production in April 2009.

Production from the field started declining from April 2010 after hitting a peak of 61.43 (mmscmd) in March 2010. RIL had an estimated 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, but due to the reservoir’s complexity and sand and water ingress, production declined. Last quarter, the field produced an average of just 1.5 mmscmd.

It had in September 2018, shuttered its only oilfield (MA field) in the D6 block due to lack of production.

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