Reliance Industries has asked the government to immediately name new customers of its natural gas, saying it is being forced to produce less than capacity in the absence of mandated buyers.
RIL's eastern offshore KG-D6 fields can produce more than 60 million standard cubic meters per day but the firm is being forced to keep output below 40 mmscmd as the government has not yet released allocation to new customers.
"There being an immediate demand from the existing customers in various sectors to consume more than 80 mmscmd gas, we once again request you to make additional allocations which will enable us to increase the production of gas from KG-D6 to 80 mmscmd," RIL wrote to the Petroleum Ministry.
The government has allocated 15.1 mmscmd of KG-D6 gas to fertilizer units, 3 mmscmd to LPG plants, 18 mmscmd to power firms, 0.83 mmscmd to city gas projects and 3.75 mmscmd to steel plants. Of this firm allocation, customers like NTPC, Dabhol and Essar Power are yet to draw 6.95 mmscmd gas.
RIL said because of inability of these companies, 11 mmscmd gas was being sold to the identified power plants on fallback or temporary basis and demanded that this be converted to firm allocation.
"This will enable us to maintain a stable production of gas and will also benefit customers because the KG-D6 gas is the cheapest gas available in India today," it stated.