RIL gas blocks under cloud over defense concerns

RIL's KG-D6 gas fields and gas discovery area NEC-25 are among 14 areas declared ''no-go'' areas by the defence ministry. Any exploration or activity in these areas under Reliance Industries and its partner BP plc is therefore effectively barred.

The defence ministry has either withdrawn or withheld clearances for 47 oil and gas blocks,of which 14 have been classified as no-go areas, The Telgraph newspaper quoted sources privy to the development as saying.

RIL-BP's KG-DWN-98/3, or KG-D6 block, has been declared no-go because it overlaps a naval base.

The newspaper had reported last month that the Indian Navy was in the process of commissioning a new secretive strategic base on the east coast next year to serve as the home port for the warships sailing to Southeast Asia, the South China Sea and the Pacific.

Spread over 20 square kilometres, Project Varsha, as it is called would be located at Ramkonda, around 50 km south of the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam.

The Telegraph newspaper said it could not be immediately confirmed whether the uncertainty over the oil and gas blocks was due to the naval project.