Reliance suspends drilling at blocks covered under BP deal

Reliance Industries disclosed yesterday that it had suspended drilling at its oil and gas exploration blocks covered under a deal with new venture partner BP pending a review.

AFP quoted an unnamed source saying India's largest private oil explorer was "re-evaluating" its exploration and production strategy in partnership with the British company but oil and gas production remained unaffected.

The source told AFP that with BP as the company's strategic partner, it made sense to do a fresh review of its portfolio and evolve a new strategy. The sourced did not specify a timeframe for the new drilling to restart.

The source said, the company would re-look to ascertain if it was going in the right direction.

On completion, the reassessment would be shared with the upstream gas regulator in India, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).

The Mukesh-Ambani led Reliance recently concluded a $7.2-billion deal with BP, under which it sold a 30-per cent stake in 21 of its oil and gas fields off the Indian coast.