RIL, BP give up 2 more oil and gas blocks; tally down to 4

New Delhi: Reliance Industries and its partner BP plc have surrendered two more oil and gas blocks, reducing their tally to four exploration acreages from 21 they held four years back.
“During the year, RIL opted to relinquish two blocks KG-DWN-2003/1 and CY-PR-DWN-2001/3 as part of the ongoing effort to high grade its upstream asset portfolio,” the company said in its annual report for 2014-15.
RIL had in February 2011 announced a “transformational” deal when UK’s BP picked up 30% stake in its 23 oil and gas blocks. However, in August that year the government allowed them to form a partnership in only 21 blocks. Since 2012, RIL and BP have been pruning their portfolio, shedding not so viable acreage.
RIL said block KG-DWN-2003/1 is been surrendered because of operational restrictions imposed by the defence ministry while CY-PR-DWN-2001/3 “was relinquished as prospectivity was not commensurate with the high geological risk involved”.
“In KG-DWN-2003/1 further progress in petroleum operations was impeded by defence restrictions imposed in October 2012. Since then the JV had continued to seek unrestricted access to the block without success. RIL and its JV partners finally decided to relinquish the block in line with government’s policy,” it said.
RIL had in February 2012 announced a discovery in well SA1 in CY-PR-DWN-2001/3 or CY-D6 block. This discovery was named D-53. RIL had 60% in KG-DWN-2003/1 while BP had 30% and Hardy Oil, 10%. In CY-PR-DWN-2001/3, RIL had 70% interest and BP 30%.
In the annual report, RIL said its current portfolio includes producing KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block in Bay of Bengal and Panna/Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields in the western offshore.
With BP, it is left with four blocks including KG-D6 and gas discovery areas of NEC-OSN-97/2 (NEC-25) and CY-DWN-2001/2 (CY-D5). It also has western offshore block GS-OSN-2000/1 with Hardy Oil. Besides, RIL holds two coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks in Madhya Pradesh. RIL had won the block CY-PR-DWN-2001/3 in the third round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).
BP farmed-in with 30% stake in 2011. Its overseas portfolio comprises of two blocks each in Yemen and Myanmar and one in Peru.
RIL had in 2007 incorporated a Dubai-based subsidiary, Reliance Exploration and Production (REP) DMCC for its overseas oil and gas forays. REP DMCC had steadily acquired 15 conventional oil and gas assets, including four in Peru, three in Yemen (one producing and two exploratory), two each in Oman, Kurdistan and Colombia and one each in East Timor and Australia.
It, however, gave up most of the blocks due to poor prospects. RIL exited a dozen properties during the past couple of years and the Myanmar acquisitions in March last year were its first recent overseas forays in conventional oil and gas. It had in this period acquired interests in three shale gas ventures in the US.
Source: Mint; 21 May 2015
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