New Delhi: India's natural gas production is expected to jump by over 66 percent to 175 million standard cubic meters per day by 2016-17 as Reliance Industries and other firms boost output on the back of higher prices.
"Gas production will rise from 105 mmcmd in 2013-14 to 129 mmscmd in 2014-15, 139 mmscmd in 2015-16 and to 175 mmscmd in 2016-17," Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters here.
The Cabinet had late last month approved pricing of gas at an average of imported LNG and international hub rates, which will when implement in April next year would translate into USD 8.2-8.4 per million British thermal unit price as compared to USD 4.2 currently.
Moily said RIL's currently producing fields in eastern offshore KG-D6 block will see output dip from 18.7 mmscmd in current year to 17.4 in 2014-15 and 15.02 mmscmd in the next year but will start to rise from 2016-17 when newer fields in the block are brought to production.
Gas output from KG-D6, as per the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), in 2016-17 will be 19.781 mmscmd, he said some of the discoveries are not viable at current rate of USD 4.2 and the new pricing regime will help monetise those finds.
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is expected to produce 29 mmscmd from neighbouring KG-DWN-98/2 or KG-D5 block from 2016-17. Also, Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GPSC) will hit a peak of 5.24 mmscmd output from its KG-OSN-2001/3 block in KG Basin that year, he said.
Moily said huge natural gas discoveries have been made in North East for which road and other infrastructure like bridges need to be built for their exploitation.
"Jubilant Energy has already declared discovery of 0.7 Trillion cubic feet in Tripura. There is a huge prospect in Manipur which can go up as high as 7 Tcf. However, the exploration is yet to take place due to unapproachable terrain," he said.
The Manipur prospect will be twice the size of currently producing Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas fields in RIL's KG-D6 block.
"Grandfather of KG-D6 is there in Manipur," he said.
Moily said his ministry had cleared RIL's USD 1.529 billion investment in developing four satellite gas finds in KG-D6 block which would produce 10 mmscmd in three years.
The Bay of Bengal KG-D6 fields, which began gas production in April 2009, had hit a peak of 69.43 mmscmd in March 2010 before water and sand ingress led to shutting down of more than one-third of the wells.
This peak output comprised 66.35 mmscmd from Dhirubhai-1 and 3, the largest of the 18 gas discoveries on the KG-D6 block, and 3.07 mmscmd from MA field, the only oil discovery on the block.
D1&D3 output has since fallen to about 10 mmscmd while gas production from MA field, which had hit a peak of 6.78 mmscmd in January 2012, has fallen to just about 4 mmscmd.