KG-D6 gas output in deep slump, admits RIL

A widely quoted statement by a petroleum ministry official that the output from the Krishna-Godavari D6 gas field would sink to around 27 standard units a day by April seems likely to come true, despite the company's official denial.

In a status report filed with the ministry recently, the company stated that natural gas production from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas fields and the MA oilfield in Block KG-DWN-98/3, or KG-D6 was 35.77 mmscmd in the week ended 5 February.

Gas output from the KG-D6 block is dropping after five of 18 wells in the main D1 and D3 producing areas were shut because of water and sand entering them and leading to a drop in pressure. The current and projected outlook for the country's premier gas find is way below projections.

Output from KG-D6 was to reach 70.39 mmscmd to date and rise to 80 mmscmd by April this year as envisaged in the field development plan approved by the government in 2006.

Output had peaked at 61.5 mmscmd in March 2010, but has been dwindling ever since. The company has blamed geological factors. It has roped in British oil exploration major BP Plc with 30 per cent equity in 21 fields to help shore up production.

The status report said of the 18 wells drilled, completed and put on production in the D1&D3 fields, six wells - A2, A6, A10, B1, B2 and B13 - were kept closed due to high water cut/sanding issues.