Petroleum ministry disbelieves RIL's KG Basin gas reserves claims

The ministry of petroleum and natural gas yesterday said it would not accept the argument of Reliance Industries (RIL) that the recoverable reserves of natural gas in the Krishna-Godavari Basin were below earlier estimates.

This is expected to add to the friction in the arbitration between the private sector operator and the government at a time when the production has fallen to as low as 25 mmscmd.

S Jaipal Reddy, union minister for minister for petroleum and natural gas, said, RIL had claimed that the recoverable reserves in the KG basin were less, but the ministry did not agree with it and would want it to be audited by the  third party.

He added, the issue was there in arbitration and the arbitrators would take the appropriate step to resolve the issue.

Earlier this year, RIL told petroleum ministry that the natural gas reserves in its main production gas fields in the KG D6 basin were only 3.10 trillion cubic feet (TCF), almost 70 per cent below the original estimates, which it blamed on ''unforeseen geological surprises'' in the field.

D1 & D3 which are the biggest blocks in the KG basin produced 2 TCF of gas from the since 2009. Production had reached 54 mmscmd in 2010 after which there a constant decline has been seen.