Defence Ministry clears oil blocks of RIL, others
New Delhi: Ending weeks of stalemate, the Defence Ministry has cleared Reliance Industries' producing KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-26 along with most of the areas where it had either barred any oil and gas activity or put stringent conditions.
In all 8 blocks, including RIL's Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block and gas discovery area of NEC-25 in the North East Coast (NEC) region, were declared "No-Go" zones for reasons like overlapping with proposed Naval base or being close to missile launching and Air Force exercise area. Stringent conditions were put for another 32 exploration areas.
At a meeting taken by National Secretary Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji on February 27, RIL blocks were fully cleared for exploration and production and stringent conditions for most of the 32 other blocks relaxed, sources said.
RIL's KG-D6 was fully cleared for oil and gas activity with the total area of 7,645 square kilometre reduced by 495 sq km to meet defence needs, sources said.
Similarly, its NEC-OSN-97/2, where six gas finds have so far been made, was fully cleared with the "hold harmless" clause for any accidental debris.
RIL's KG-OSN-2001/1 was also cleared but the block had already been relinquished by the operator.
However, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC) KG basin blocks KG-OSN-2005/1 and KG-OSN-2005/2 and BG Group's KG-DWN-2009/1 would remain No-Go areas as they fall directly within the boundary of the proposed naval base, sources said.