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October 31, 2002 | 1156 IST
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Reliance gas-find 40 times bigger than Bombay High

Hemangi Balse in Mumbai

Reliance Industries' gas discovery in the Krishna-Godavari basin is expected to change the energy supply economics in the country with the reserves estimated to be around 40 times bigger than that of the Bombay High field, and double the total gas production of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

The Ambanis made the announcement on the gas discovery at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

Reliance's gas reserves in its exploratory block KGDN-6, off Vishakapatnam, are to the tune of 40-50 million cubic metres per day and are expected to go up to 100 cubic metres of gas over a 10-year period.

Reliance's gas reserves are expected to feed the gas-starved country for almost a century. The firm will have to invest more than Rs 7,000 crore (Rs 70 billion) in extracting gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin.

Reliance is understood to already have received enquiries from several international oil majors for a partnership but is, however, planning to go it alone.

An industry source said: "If Reliance's projections come true, it will change the entire energy supply chain of the country. This will further mean that projects to import liquefied natural gas in the country will be hit."

Such a scenario puts a question mark on the slew of LNG terminals planned in India. Although most are on the drawing board, several global firms, including Shell, British Gas, and the local Petronet LNG, have bought land and carried out detailed feasibility studies to import LNG.

Reliance is delineating the gas reservoir, has drilled almost three wells, and needs 122 clearances at various levels of the government.

Though Reliance has a 10-year plan for the gas reservoir, the entire execution and commercial production is being chalked out in such a manner that it can commence production in two and a half years.

Reliance is the first private Indian company to have struck gas in a deep water exploratory block in the country. It drilled a record 6,000 feet below the sea floor in the Krishna-Godavari basin.

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