Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has said it will give up about 56% of "low prospectivity area" in its eastern offshore KG-D6 block to retain only the portion where oil and gas discoveries have been made.
Only "3,412 square kilometers of area" out of a total of 7,645 sq km in KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block will be retained, it said.
The area RIL intends to retain contains 18 gas discoveries and one oil discovery including the currently producing Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) gas and MA oil and gas fields.
RIL said it has submitted to authorities revised field development plans for D1&D3 as well as D26 or MA fields that include work-overs and facility upgrade to improve gas production.
"The next wave of projects to exploit the undeveloped discovered resources (will be) targeted over the next 3 -5 years," it said.
Investment plans for other satellites (D29, D30 and D31) will be submitted once upstream regulator DGH approves their commerciality.
RIL made the area relinquishment offer last month just as the oil ministry was readying an order asking the firm to vacate 5,970 sq km of KG-D6 block.
Contractually, companies are required to relinquish 25% of the area in an oil and gas block at the end of first phase of exploration that spans three years.
At the end of the second phase, 50% of the area is to be given up and by the third phase, only such area is allowed to be retained where the company has made a discovery and is required for development and production of the same.
The second and third phases are of two years duration each.
RIL and its partner Niko Resources of Canada were awarded the KG-D6 block in 2000. The three-year Phase-1 ended on June 7, 2003 while the 2-year Phase-II expired on June 7, 2005. The third phase ended on June 7, 2007.
KG-D6 output has dipped from 69.43 million standard cubic meters per day in March 2010 to under 17 mmscmd this month.