Reliance limits MA production to 25,000 b/d

Vol 14, PW 5 (26 Aug 10) Exploration & Production

Many are wondering why Reliance’s MA oilfield has been producing just 25,000 b/d from five wells since May this year.

Earlier expectations were that production from the 49.71-sq km MA field, which lies inside Reliance’s D6 block, would reach its peak of 40,000 b/d by this June. When contacted, neither Reliance nor the DGH were willing to give a clear explanation.

But industry sources suggest MA production is being maintained at 25,000 b/d to “manage the reservoir” effectively. “Actually, Reliance did briefly increase MA oil production for four months this year,” explains an observer.

“In February, March, April, and May it produced up to 36,000 b/d.” But he says Reliance later realised this high rate of production could ‘exploit’ the reservoir too soon so it lowered production again to 25,000 b/d.

Reliance, we learn, should have also added a sixth MA oil well by now as part of its $2.23bn Field Development Plan, approved by the DGH on April 24, 2008. “Reliance and officials from our geology and geophysics department,” says a DGH source, “are monitoring the MA reservoir and will soon decide if another oil well should be added.

” But some believe rapidly rising gas production at MA has deterred Reliance from adding the sixth planned oil well. This is because the Dhirubhai–1 Floating Production and Storage Offshore (FPSO) vessel at MA can handle a maximum of 40,000 b/d of oil and 9m cm/d of gas.

Reliance already produces an impressive 8.06m cm/d gas from MA, up from the 2.7m cm/d at the end of March this year. “Reliance is not drilling another oil well,” we are told, “as the associated gas would be more than the FPSO can handle.

” Any gas beyond 9m cm/d would need to be ‘flared’ or burnt off.