According to Avinash Chandra of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, India can triple its current oil production of 32 million tons per year over the next 10 years by exploring the deepwater plays offshore the east and west coasts of the country. "Seismic surveys have mapped over 140 plays (hydrocarbon sources) on the east and west coast. Extensive exploration of these can upgrade the current inplace reserves of 7.2 billion tons to 14.2-16.2 billion tons which would give additional recoverable reserves of 3.5-4 billion tons," according to Chandra. Exploration in deepwaters of Krishna Godavari Basin, off the Andhra cost, has given seven gas discoveries with reserves of 10.5 trillion cubic feet. Reliance Industries has struck 9.46 tcf gas in D6 block while Cairn Energy has found 1.2 tcf in the adjacent D5 block, he said.
"Another 10 tcf reserves are estimated in another shallow water block (awarded to GSPC) in the same basin," he said adding the total potential of in KG Basin was 40-50 tcf. Chandra said 80 Plays have been mapped on the east coast while another 50 leads have been found on the southern tip.
The DGH also advocates extending exploration activity beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India. "We have 3.14 million square km under EEZ and if it is extended up to 350 Nautical Miles, than we will have 4.14 million square kms for exploration," he said.
He said DGH has revised the resource potential of the country to 32 billion tons from earlier 28 billion tons in view of the recent finds.