Dahej R-LNG helps Reliance commission D6 pipeline

Vol 12, PW 1 (29 May 08) Midstream & Downstream

Commercial supplies of D6 gas are unlikely to begin before the end of this year but that isn’t stopping Reliance from commissioning its 1400-km long gas transmission pipeline from the Kakinada landfall point in eastern India to markets in western India.

PETROWATCH learns that later this week Reliance will cross a major milestone when it starts pumping gas into the 48-inch diameter pipeline from Ankut in Gujarat to eastern India – in the opposite direction to which D6 gas will flow. Reliance has contracted to buy 5m cubic metres from GAIL (which had some R-LNG from Dahej to spare) for the commissioning process, which is likely to take two months.

Ankut is one of three points at which the Reliance pipeline meets the GAIL-owned Dahej to Vijaipur pipeline. GAIL, we learn, is selling this gas to Reliance at the â€کpooled’ Dahej R-LNG price of $5.87/mmbtu.

Around 400-km of the 1400-km length of the Reliance pipeline is ready to begin taking gas. “A short stretch of a few kilometres is still pending in Andhra Pradesh,â€‌ we hear.

“But that will be completed by the end of June, in time for â€کline-fill’ gas (from GAIL) to reach the eastern end.â€‌ Since R-LNG from GAIL will be present in the pipeline at 1kg/cm2 it will be enough for commissioning but grossly insufficient to pressurise the pipeline at the maximum-targeted pressure of 90kg/cm2.

Only if gas is available in the pipeline at a pressure of between 25kg/cm2 and 40kg/cm2 can Reliance supply customers in the power and fertiliser sectors. Reliance is also in talks to source R-LNG from the Shell and Total operated Hazira LNG terminal.

“The quantity from Hazira will depend on the pressure Reliance wants in the pipeline,â€‌ adds a source. “Nothing is finalised and talks are still on.

â€‌ Reliance might not pay Shell and Total for the R-LNG but just hand over an equal quantity of D6 gas when supplies start. “It is cheaper and easier to give gas for gas,â€‌ says source.

“Reliance would have liked a similar arrangement with GAIL but can’t since GAIL is a government company.â€‌