Natural gas production from Reliance Industries' showpiece KG-D6 fields off the East Coast has declined to a one-year low of less than 42 million standard cubic metres per day.
The Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas fields and the MA oilfield in the KG-DWN-98/3, or KG-D6, block in the Bay of Bengal produced about 41.68 mmscmd of gas in the week ending October 30, according to a production report filed by the operator (Reliance) with the Oil Ministry here.
The current output is a far cry from the 61.5 mmscmd level achieved in March last year and the production plan of over 70 mmscmd for 2011-12.
The Dhirubhai-1 and 3, or D-1 & D-3, fields produced 34.71 mmscmd and the remaining 6.97 mmscmd came from the MA oilfield during the week under review.
Reliance, the report said, has shut four wells due to high water ingress and sanding issues. Current output is from 14 wells out of the 18 wells drilled and completed so far in the D-1 & D-3 fields.
The MA oilfield currently produces an average 13,071 barrels of crude oil per day.
The report said 14.06 mmscmd of the gas output is being sold to fertiliser plants and 24.29 mmscmd to power plants. The remaining 3.3 mmscmd is consumed by other sectors, including gas transported through the East-West pipeline from the East Coast to consumption centres in the West.
Reliance had projected an output of 41.50 mmscmd of gas in the first week of November.
As per the status report, out of the 22 wells planned in in Phase-I of D-1 and D- field development, 18 wells have been drilled and completed so far. Of these, 14 wells were put on production, while four wells were kept closed due to high water cut and sanding issues.
Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R P N Singh had in August informed Parliament that output from KG-D6 was short of the 70.39 mmscmd level envisaged by now as per the field development plan approved in 2006.
While Reliance holds 60 % interest in KG-D6, UK's BP Plc holds 30 % and Niko Resources of Canada the remaining 10 %.
Reliance started natural gas production from the KG-D6 fields in April 1, 2009.