Reliance Industries has countered a report that the oil regulator, the DGH, used to target it for falling gas production from the KG-D6 fields, saying the study was done without visiting the fields and the company was not given an opportunity to present its views.
Reliance was "deeply concerned and surprised" by the reservoir behaviour and "its deviation from what was envisaged in the Field Development Plan (laid out in 2006)", Reliance Senior Vice-President (Commercial) B Ganguly said in an April 30 letter to the DGH.
"Our concern is also evident from the fact that we have moved to bring in a more experienced partner in the form of (UK's) BP, who brings with it the best deep water experience globally," he wrote, adding that Reliance plans to discuss the reservoir performance with BP to find a solution to the problem.
The Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) had commissioned independent consultant P Gopalkrishnan to give a report on the reasons for gas output from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 fields in the KG-D6 block falling to 42 million cubic metres per day from 53-54 mmscmd in March, 2010, instead of rising to the projected 61.88 mmscmd.
In his letter, Ganguly gave a point-by-point rebuttal of Gopalkrishnan's finding that the "shortfall of gas production is due to non-drilling of the adequate number of wells".
"While the DGH-appointed consultant has reached certain conclusions on the performance of the D-1 and D-3 fields, we as operators were neither approached nor afforded an opportunity to discuss any of the field issues with the consultant," he wrote.
"The consultant had not even visited the field to apprise himself of the actual conditions and field performance," he said. "The conclusions are further contrary to the facts and information provided by us from time-to-time to the DGH."
The DGH is using this report to make Reliance carry out the impossible task of drilling two wells by next month and another nine by the fiscal-end. This despite the fact that each well takes up to six months to be completed and there was a very small weather window available for drilling in the Bay of Bengal.
The regulator is mulling over the action it can take against Reliance for failing to meet this commitment, sources said.
Ganguly stated that Reliance neither had access to the consultant nor was the full report prepared by Gopalkrishnan ever provided to the company.
"From the conclusions that have been conveyed to us, it seems that the consultant either has not been provided or has not considered all reservoir/production data or it would not have been difficult for him to appreciate some very obvious reservoir pressure trends in the field that contradict the conclusions reached by the consultant," he wrote.