Reliance Notifies Regulator of Gas Discovery

NEW DELHI Sep 25, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. (500325.BY) Saturday said it has informed the country's upstream regulator, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, about its latest natural gas discovery off the country's eastern coast.

In a statement, Reliance said it struck gas in the Krishna-Godavari basin in a block that was awarded to the company under the third round of the government's New Exploration Licensing Policy, or NELP-III.

"The discovery has been named Dhirubhai 28. The potential commercial interest of the said discovery is yet to be established," Reliance said.

India has so far awarded 110 blocks under five NELP rounds through an international competitive bidding process. The NELP is aimed at boosting the country's oil and gas production.

India currently imports 76% of the crude oil it processes as current domestic crude output is stagnating at around 33 million metric tons a year.

Natural gas available for commercial sale in the country is currently about 90 million cubic meters a day, which is only sufficient to meet around 60% of the local demand.

Reliance, a petrochemical major, also owns and operates a 33-million-metric-ton-a-year refinery at Jamnagar in the western state of Gujarat. The company sells oil products through its around 1,200 filling stations countrywide.

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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