All that's needed now is approval from oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar. In recommending the extensions the DGH made the astute observation that it had little choice because without more data it would be impossible to tender these blocks in future rounds! Reliance cited several reasons for the extensions: delay in environment clearances, rig procurement problems and complex geological models. This will be Reliance's second extension for KG-OSN-97/2. At KG-OSN-97/3 Reliance says it needs more time to integrate seismic data to firm up drilling locations. For KG-OSN-97/4 Reliance says it had to review the well locations from DGH data. "We would complete the shortfall in 2D and 3D after the first exploratory well." Luckily the DGH agrees and has granted a six-month extension for KG-OSN-97/4 and a nine-month extension for KG-OSN-97/2 and KG-OSN-97/3 for Phase-II. For GS-ON-2000/1 Reliance receives a 24-month extension. "Reliance has committed five exploratory wells in Phase-I and this would result in reasonable exploration output in the block," recommends the DGH. Reliance reveals, "discouraging results from a well drilled in the adjacent block" to GK-OSN-2000/1 and the need to "review" drillable locations. Here, Reliance wants a rig to drill wells starting next month to March 2005. For SR-OSN-97/1, the DGH recommends an 18-month extension but warns that almost 14 of the 18 months have passed and Reliance should complete the MWP in the extended period. Reliance's proposal to swap or transfer the work program for SR-OSN-97/1 with another block was rejected.
Also approved were extensions for ONGC's two blocks on the eastern offshore: WB-OSN-2000/1 and MB-OSN-2000/1 and Phoenix's onshore block RJ-ON/6 in Rajasthan. The committee included additional secretary MS Srinivasan, additional secretary and financial advisor Ashok Chawla, joint secretary exploration Sunjoy Joshi and acting DGH GC Saxena.
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