Reliance starts gas production off east coast
Indian energy giant Reliance Industries said Thursday it had begun producing gas from the deep-sea Krishna Godavari Basin off India's east coast in what it called a boost for national energy security.
At peak production of oil and gas, the KG-D6 facility is expected to produce over 550,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, the company said in a statement.
"This is a momentous occasion for India. The clean energy from the discoveries of the KG-D6 block will be a boost for energy security and growth," said Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, in a statement.
Reliance shares rose as much as 4.39 percent or 69.45 rupees to a day's high of 1,648.9 on Thursday, having gained 35 percent in the past four weeks ahead of the start of gas production from the basin.
India imports 80 percent of its oil needs.
"With this, the company has commissioned one of the world?s largest deepwater production facilities in the same block in which Reliance already discovered oil reserves earlier," the statement said.
Reliance Industries said initial gas production from the discoveries of the KG-D6 block will be sold to currently gas-starved Indian fertilizer and power firms, which would help reduce the government's subsidy burden, the company said.
"It is a landmark in the history of oil and gas production. World-over, this has created a new benchmark for deep-sea developers," said a senior official at the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, V.K. Sibal.
Reliance's partners in the project execution included engineering and offshore construction firms Aker Kvaerner Group, Allseas, Afcons, Bechtel and Halliburton.
Fuel-hungry India has been racing to discover new sources of energy to power its growing economy.