Reliance & Niko Make Two More Gas Discoveries on D-6 Block

Reliance Industries has made two new gas discoveries at its D-6 block offshore India, the site of the world's largest gas find of 2002, in Bay of Bengal.

The K-1 and K-2 wells, the ninth and tenth consecutive successful wells drilled earlier this year in the 1.9 million acre D-6 block, discovered the gas reserves. The wells were drilled by Transocean Inc.'s drillship, Discoverer 534.

The K-2 discovery well, located east of the Dhirubhai field, flowed gas at a constrained rate of about 30 million cubic feet per day during testing. The well, located in 992 metres of water, was drilled to a total depth of 2220 meters, Niko Resources said.

The K-1 well also encountered gas though no flow rates were available. K-1, also located east of Dhirubhai, was drilled in 1031 metres of water to a total depth of 2531 meters.

Niko Resources said the two fields were of similar size though Reliance was still evaluating the reserve potential.

"All drilling to date has occurred in the first 1800 square km area covered by the first 3D seismic programme. An additional 2500 square km of 3D seismic is currently being shot," Niko said.

Reliance Industries is the operator of D-6 block with 90 percent stake while Niko Resources has remaining 10 percent.

During 2003, Reliance drilled eight wells in the block it won in the first round of international bidding, with seven discovering significant quantities of gas.

The Dhirubai A-1 well was Reliance's first east coast offshore discovery. An independent engineering report prepared by DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) has assigned gross in-place reserves on a technically proven, probable and possible basis of 9.96 trillion cubic feet. Reliance has, however, estimated that the block contains reserves in excess of 14.5 tcf. First production from the block is expected to commence in 2005.

Meanwhile, Reliance plans to carry out a three well exploration program in the 3.5 million acres NEC-25 block off the Orissa coast. A 3D seismic program covering 1,800 square km or 12 percent of the block, has been shot. Utilizing the 2D and 3D seismic, several rollover anticlines at the Miocene level have been identified. "These structures are smaller than those on Block D-6 with potential reserves in the 1 to 2 tcf range each," Niko said.