RIL-led combine to pump $4bn into D6; Niko ups reserve estimates

Reliance Industries Ltd and its oil exploration partners, UK's BP Plc and Niko Resources Ltd of Canada, plan to invest $4 billion to develop satellite fields in the Krishna-Godavari D6 block, where gas output has been falling steadily and is now at less than half of original projections.

The combine, with RIL as the major partner and BP and Niko providing exploring expertise, is also keen to explore for more hydrocarbons that may lie beneath the fields already under production.

"This is a rough estimate but overall we plan to invest $4 billion in developing the satellite fields in KG D6 and are hoping to submit an integrated development plan by the end of the current fiscal," Niko's chief operating officer William Hornaday said in a conference call with analysts on Thursday.

Separately, a government official said Reliance had approached the directorate general of hydrocarbons saying there may be more oil or gas under the reservoir of the D1 and D3 field, raising prospects of reversing the sharp fall in production from the block, says an Economic Times report.

Reliance hopes to reverse the decline in gas production in D6 with an integrated development plan that will develop all the discoveries, the report said.

Meanwhile in a report released on Thursday, Niko Resources Ltd slashed the proven and probable gas reserve estimate from the D6 block by 78.55 per cent to 1.93 trillion cubic feet (tcf), down from the earlier estimates of 9-10 tcf.