Ambani's 4G telecom frenzy overshadows oil

Vol 19, PW 26 (08 Sep 16) People & Policy

Mukesh Ambani has confirmed what this report has long suspected - Reliance is more interested in its telecom business than in oil and gas.

Here's proof: at its three-hour 42nd Annual General Meeting on September 1, Ambani devoted 11 of his 18-page speech to the company's new mobile telephony business Jio, which is causing near riots across India as customers scramble to get the free SIM cards which come with free voice calling for life and huge data discounts. Over the course of the 90-minute speech, Ambani expended a lavish 5098 words on Jio against a meagre 521 words on the petrochemicals business, 326 words on the Jamnagar refinery and a laughable 195 words on oil and gas E&P.

He spoke only of the KG-D6 block, three CBM blocks in Madhya Pradesh, and Reliance's shale operations in the US. "Since output commenced, KG-D6 has produced 2.6-tcf of gas and 29m barrels of crude oil," said Ambani.

"We're making our best efforts to sustain production from this complex deepwater basin and with partner BP evaluating plans to monetise the remaining 4 to 5-tcf resources." Ambani also touched on Reliance's plans to begin producing 1m cm/d of gas from the Sohagpur West CBM block by March 31, 2017. Of his US shale business Ambani said: "Our portfolio investment in the shale gas business is in capital preservation mode in this environment of low commodity prices."

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