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Reliance bags five oil blocks

New Delhi, Dec. 6 (PTI): Reliance Industries has acquired five oil and gas exploration blocks, awarded earlier to Irelandís Tullow Oil Plc, for over £ 1 million as part of efforts to consolidate its position in E&P business.

The acquisition comes close on the heels of discovery of 7 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves by Reliance which has emerged as the most aggressive bidder, after state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, for successive blocks announced by the government under its New Exploration Licensing Policy for the last three years.

The government has cleared the acquisition and RIL is likely to sign production sharing contract agreement soon, sources said. Reliance spokesperson, however, declined to comment.

As part of the £-1.033-million deal, Tullow will farm out between 40 to 50 per cent stake in five of its oil and gas blocks in Gujarat offshore, Gujarat-Kutch Basin, Cambay Basin and KG Basin to RIL.

Reliance would acquire 50 per cent stake in block GK-OSJ-1, offshore Gujarat. Post selloff, Tullow would have a 25 per cent stake while ONGC would have 25 per cent stake, sources said.

The company would acquire 40 per cent stake in GK-OS-5, offshore Gujarat block, they said, adding Tullow would have 50 per cent stake post-selloff in the block while US-based Okland Oil Co would have 10 per cent interest.

Reliance would also acquire 40 per cent stake in KG-ON-1 in Krishna-Godavari Basin, while Tullow would have the remaining 60 per cent stake.

Sources said Reliance has been given the operatorship in all the five blocks. The production-sharing contract for the blocks would have to be signed again, they added.

Reliance would acquire 40 per cent stake GK-ON-90/2 block in Gujarat Kutch Basin and CB-ON-1 in Cambay Basin, they said, adding Tullow would have 50 per cent stake in these blocks while US-based Okland Oil Co would have 10 per cent interest.

The GK-OSJ-1 offshore exploration block, off the north-west coast of India, contains an existing gas discovery ó GK-22-C-1. This well-tested gas at 9.9 million cubic feet per day is with associated condensate, sources said.

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