Bob Dudley, the chief executive of Europe's second-biggest oil company, BP PLc, met senior government functionaries and political leaders on Wednesday along with Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries Ltd and pressed for an early government nod to develop the satellite fields in the KG-D6 - India's largest gas-producing field - in order to and reverse sagging natural gas output from the prolific acreage.
This is Dudley's first visit since BP completed its $7.2-billion alliance with RIL.
Dudley had last visited India in October, shortly after he took over BP Plc, when the UK-based energy company was in the thick of controversy over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dudley, along with Ambani, first met Anand Sharma, commerce minister, and then S Jaipal Reddy, petroleum minister, and GC Chaturvedi, oil secretary.
The duo, accompanied by PMS Prasad, head, oil and gas business, RIL, also called on Salman Khurshid, law minister and P Chidambaram, home minister. They had meetings lined up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee later in the evening and also with TKA Nair, principal secretary to the Prime Minister.
"Mukesh Ambani and I had a very good meeting with the minister (Anand Sharma) and have assured him that we are here as partners to the government in its quest for energy security," said Dudley. "We plan to set up our new gas marketing joint venture in the next couple of months," he said.
Dudley stressed that the approval for the satellite field development should come so that the winter - when weather does not permit drilling in Bay of Bengal - can be used for engineering and actual site work can begin early next year.
Satellite fields in the KG-D6 blocks are fields in addition to the already producing D1 and D3 fields. RIL has already submitted a plan to invest over $1.5 billion in developing four satellite fields around D1 and D3 to produce up to 10 mmscmd of gas by 2016. "We are hopeful that the government will approve development of satellites and that is how you can bring gas production back up," said Dudley.