RIL starts gas production from Dhirubhai discoveries

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, May 5 -- Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) started natural gas production from the Dhirubhai 1 and 3 discoveries on the KG-D6 block off India in early April.

This was a major discovery for India because it provided an increase in domestic energy supplies that raised questions whether the nation's energy import plans make sense. At peak production, the KG-D6 facility is expected to produce 550,000 boe/d. It was brought into production 6½ years from discovery.

The block is in the Krishna Godavari basin in the Bay of Bengal. The gas is received at the Gadimoga onshore facility and delivered to the East West pipeline. Wells, are connected by flow lines and production risers to a control and riser platform and are tied back to the terminal about 60 km from the gas fields—one of the longest tie backs in the world.

"At the seabed, equipment equivalent to over 110,000 tonnes of steel weight and over 2,400 line-km of flowlines and umbilicals have been installed to construct a deepwater production system. Subsea installations were carried out by remotely operated vehicles at sea bed depths ranging from 600-1,200 m, well beyond diver depths," said RIL.

This was a challenging project because of the harsh weather apart from a window of 4 months every year. Other difficulties included supply chain challenges and manpower shortages against tight schedules.

Gas deal
RIL will sell gas produced from its KG-D6 block off east India to several companies for power generation under a gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA).

Buyers will take 11 million standard cu m/day of gas at 11 different power stations for 5 years, which will be delivered through the East-West pipeline owned by Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd.(RGTIL) and other pipelines.

RIL expects to sign GSPAs with other power companies shortly, which is anticipated to increase the contracted quantity of gas for the power sector to 18 million standard cu m/day.

The power companies also signed a gas transportation agreement (GTA) with RGTIL.

PMS Prasad, RIL president and chief executive officer of petroleum, said the expected supply of 18 million standard cu m/day of gas to the power sector would largely eliminate their gas supply deficit and would result in generation of 4,000 Mw of power, providing welcome relief in many parts of the country.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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