Frenetic activity in Kakinada as D6 gas set to flow

Vol 12, PW 18 (12 Feb 09) People & Policy

Less clear is when exactly Reliance will â€کturn on the tap’, except that it will be very soon! If you believe government sources and Reliance’s competitors, it could be as soon as February 25.

“My news is that production will start on February 25,â€‌ says an industry source. “There may be a delay of one or two days because of some technicality.

But otherwise production will start by the end of this month.â€‌ A government source confirmed this approximate timetable.

“Reliance has â€کunofficially’ told us that D6 gas production will begin from end-February or the first week of March.â€‌ In a light-hearted comment about Mukesh Ambani’s penchant for blessings related to his faith before starting projects, our government source adds that we would be better off asking a Hindu â€کpandit’ (priest).

“I am sure the â€کpandit’ at Ambani’s house would know the exact second, time, date and position of the stars when they will switch on the tap!â€‌ Closer to the ground at Kakinada, a source working on the project doubts if it will be February 25, saying D6 gas will â€کsurely’ start by early to mid-March. “Some critical equipment still needs to be in place,â€‌ he says.

“Everything is available at the site. It just needs to be installed.

â€‌ Our source adds that Reliance would have begun production earlier than mid-March, had the equipment been installed. Other sources working on site confirm frenetic activity over the last two weeks.

“The amount of work that has been done in the past twelve days is a miracle,â€‌ we hear. “Things are working great!â€‌ When asked if the sea off the Andhra Pradesh coast, where the deepwater D6 platform is located, is calm for Reliance to work, our source responds with a resounding â€کyes’.

“Right now the sea is very safe,â€‌ he says, “like a swimming pool.â€‌ Another source close to the project said system checks are ongoing.

“Trial runs are on to see if everything is working as planned,â€‌ he says. “They are using nitrogen to test the system.