Gas output from India's largest gas producing field - the KG-D6, operated by Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on the eastern offshore - is likely to drop substantially to all-time low of 20 million standard cubic meters per day in 2014-15, petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy said on Tuesday.
"The output from the fields this fiscal would average 28 mmscmd," Reddy said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. He added that gas production from KG-D6 in 2013-14 from these fields is projected to drop to 24 mmscmd.
RIL had started gas production from KG-D6 in April 2009 with an output of 30 mmscmd. This hit a peak of 61.5 mmscmd a year later but has since then been declining and is currently sitting at 34 mmscmd.
A fall in gas output from the block has led to the petroleum ministry slap a $1.2 billion notice on RIL last week. The ministry in its notice has blamed RIL for violating the gas field contract.
On its part, Reliance has already served an arbitration notice on the ministry and has also moved to the Supreme Court last month seeking appointment of an arbitrator on behalf of the government to decide the dispute over cost recovery.
Reliance had drilled and completed only 18 out of the 31 wells in the block, resulting in a lower gas output. RIL, however, disagrees with the ministry's view and maintains that the reservoir had not behaved as previously predicted and output dipped due to a fall in pressure and water and sand ingress in wells.