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BP expects Krishna Godavari gas output to rise


New Delhi : Global energy major – and Reliance Industries (RIL) partner – BP Wednesday said it expects gas output from the Krishna Godavari basin to rise in three years’ time.

BP had picked up a 30 percent stake in 23 oil and gas blocks operated by RIL, including the Krishna Godavari basin (KG D6) off the Andhra Pradesh coast — one of India’s major gas finds in recent years.

“We are hopeful to get these approvals this year so we can begin engineering and by 2014 get gas production rising again,” BP chief executive Bob Dudley told reporters after meeting officials here.

Dudley is on a two-day visit to India.

RIL has come under criticism in recent months for not being able to ensure optimum production levels, which have fallen to about 44 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscd) from the planned peak capacity of 80 mmscd.

The block was producing about 60 mmscd a year ago.

“We already have joint teams in place looking at options to increase production from the D6 block. I am confident that we will be able to increase activity and output from these efforts sooner rather than later,” said Dudley who was accompanied by RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani.

According to an oil ministry official, the BP chief executive also urged the government to fast-track the approval process for developing blocks close to KG D6.

The Reliance-BP deal is worth $7.2 billion and is one of the single largest foreign direct investments in the country. It also entails paying the Mukesh Ambani-firm another $1.8 billion, based on successful exploration.

Also the deal size may increase to $20 billion, depending on future performance payments. The two companies also plan to set up a gas marketing joint venture in a few months.

The deal provides BP a firm footing in one of the world’s fastest growing energy markets.