Another six Reliance blocks are under close scrutiny

Vol 9, PW 24 (23 Mar 06) Exploration & Production

Six other exploration blocks held by Reliance are also under scrutiny, though most of these will either be granted an extension or have already been relinquished because of their poor prospectivity.

Two are in the Krishna Godavari basin; three in the Kerala Konkan basin; and one is in the Mumbai offshore. Reliance has already been given a 21-month extension at eastern offshore NELP-I shallow water block KG-OSN-97/2 but wants another nine months because drilling of the second of its two committed wells is underway.

Most likely, Reliance will receive this extension as a formality just to complete the well after which it is expected to relinquish the block. Quite similar is the case with western offshore deepwater NELP-I block KK-OSN-97/2, where Reliance wants six more months in addition to the 21 months it has already received but where the one committed well remains to be drilled.

At this block Reliance will be asked to seek more than six months extension because the time it has sought is not considered enough to complete the Phase-II work programme. Like others before, Reliance isnt having much success in the Kerala Konkan basin and ministry speculation is that the company is not interested in this block, nor with KK-DWN-2000/1 where it wants 12 months extension to decide whether or not to drill one well.

In block KK-DWN-2000/3, Reliance might get the 12 months extension to shoot an additional 1500-km 2D before deciding to enter Phase-II where it has committed one well. On eastern offshore block KG-DWN-98/1, Reliance has already received a 24-month extension and drilled one well even though no well was committed.

Here, Reliance is facing a shortfall of 800-sq km 3D and about 1000-km 2D from the committed work programme and wants to offset the cost of the drilled well with this shortfall and then relinquish the block. Most likely, this request will be accepted.

In September 2005, Reliance relinquished offshore Mumbai block MB-OSN-97/3.

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