Reliance Industries will invest $5.91 billion (around Rs29,800 crore) in developing nine more finds in its prolific eastern offshore KG-D6 block, petroleum sector regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), said.
''The development covering nine satellite discoveries was submitted to the management committee in July 2008," director-general of hydrocarbons General V K Sibal said, adding, ''We have yet taken a view.''
Reliance plans to tie up the discoveries with Dhirubhai -1 and -3 finds, which began gas production late on Wednesday.
RIL and its Canadian partner Niko Resources is investing $8.836 billion in producing 80 million cubic meters per day of peak output from Dhirubhai-1 and -3, the first two of the 18 gas discoveries in KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block.
''This is a momentous occasion for India. Reliance takes great pride in this success. Reliance has created history and has once again demonstrated its ability to implement complex projects at par with the best performance benchmarks in the world. The clean energy from the Dhirubhai 1 and 3 discoveries of the KG-D6 block will be a boost for energy security and growth of India. We wish to acknowledge and thank all our stakeholders, including the Government of India, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and our project partners for their continued support,'' Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited, said.
The initial production of gas from the Dhirubhai 1 and 3 discoveries of the KG-D6 block will be sold to existing gas starved Fertilizer and Power companies resulting in substantial reduction in subsidy burden of the government.
According to the DGH, the field development plan (FDP) for the nine satellite discoveries envisages first gas production from the 2.2 Tcf of reserves they hold in 2013.
RIL has submitted development plan for Dhirubhai 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 16, 19, 22 and 23 discoveries. Five other discoveries are under appraisal phase, which is typically of about three years duration. Dhirubhai 1 and 3 are estimated to hold 10.03 Tcf of reserves and the whole of KG-D6 block about 40 Tcf.
Meanwhile, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) will meet next week to decide on allocating natural gas from the KG-D6 fields among power plants.
The meeting, which was to be held last week, had to be postponed after a senior opposition leader complained to the EC that the ministers' panel was going to allocate the gas to power plants in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, boosting the chances of ruling Congress party in the two states.
However, the EC has given a go-ahead to hold the EGoM meeting on April 9 after it has been briefed of the necessity of holding the EGoM meeting, the regulator said.
As per the gas utilisation policy, fertiliser plants get top priority in allocation of the KG-D6 gas, followed by power plants.