RIL's D6 gas output to slump further by April

Gas output from the Krishna-Godavari D6 block, operated by Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd, may decline to an all-time low of 27 million standard cubic metres a day from April, compared with 37-38 mscmd currently, a petroleum ministry official told sections of the media.

This would be 66-per cent lower than envisaged production of 80 mmscmd according to the initial field development plan.

Reliance Industries has informed the Directorate General for Hydrocarbons about the expected decline in output, which has already fallen from its peak 61 mmscmd since March 2010. The empowered group of ministers is to meet on 24 February to decide on gas allocation.

However, Reliance officials denied that there would be such a steep fall in production. The drop is likely to be about 10 per cent to 34 mmscmd by April, The Economic Times reports citing sources close to the company said.

The D6 block currently produces about 37 mmscmd of gas. This includes 30 mmscmd from D1 and D3 gas fields, where output has been declining for months, and 7 mmscmd from the MA oilfield that also produces natural gas. While the MA field's gas output is expected to remain steady at 7 mmscmd, production from the gas fields is projected to drop from 30 mmscmd to 27 mmscmd, the sources said.

Industry officials said that the oil ministry official was probably referring to the output from only the D1 and D3 fields, not the MA field.