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MJ project gets approval; RIL, BP to invest Rs 35,000 cr in KG basin

Gas production from KG D6 integrated development is expected to help reduce India's import dependence

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Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) and its partner BP Plc on Tuesday announced the sanction of the MJ project in the KG D6 block off the east coast of India. The three new projects by these companies are expected to get investments to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore.

MJ (also known as D55) is the third of the three new projects in the Block KG D6 integrated development plan. Its approval follows sanctions for the development of “R-Series” deep-water gas fields in June 2017 and for the Satellites cluster in April 2018.

The three projects are together expected to develop a total of about 3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of discovered gas resources with a total investment of Rs 35,000 crore ($5 billion). 

These projects together, when fully developed, will bring about 1 billion cubic feet a day of new domestic gas on stream, phased over 2020-2022.

According to industry sources, the use of existing infrastructure in the KG basin by the companies is expected to save at least $1.5 billion for the three projects. 

Government sources said the RIL projects, along with ONGC discoveries, are expected to increase the natural gas production in India to 71.92 billion cubic meter (bcm) by 2021-22, from a mere 35.07 bcm now. 

Gas production from KG D6 integrated development is expected to help reduce India’s import dependence and amount to over 10 per cent of the country’s projected gas demand in 2022. 

Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of RIL, said: “Bringing these three discoveries to production, as promised in 2017, by leveraging the existing infrastructure has been the primary objective of the Reliance-BP joint venture.” 

He added that this will add to the increasing demand for clean fuel in the country, save foreign exchange, and reduce dependency on imported gas. 

Of the three projects, the R-Series is in the execution phase.  

All six wells have been drilled and gas from this project is on schedule and expected by mid-2020. MJ is expected to begin production in mid-2022, said RIL.

Bob Dudley, chief executive, BP Group, welcomed the investment decision. “We are building an important upstream business in India, helping supply the country’s growing gas market,” he said 

Dudley added, “Working closely with Reliance, we are efficiently developing discovered resources, with focused exploration to give options for the future. This latest investment is a further demonstration of BP’s commitment to India and helps support India in addressing the dual challenge and moving to a low-carbon future.”