Mumbai, Dec. 22: Reliance Industries has a new gas find in the Krishna Godavari basin — and its called Dhirubhai 44.
The new find is not in the famed KG-D6 block that is at the centre of an acrimonious court battle between the Ambani brothers but in an adjacent one — KG-D3 — in which Hardy Oil of the UK has a 10 per cent participatory interest. The concession was awarded to the Reliance-Hardy combine as part of the Nelp V auction that took place in 2005.
The KG-D3 deepwater block covers an area of 3,288 square km and is about 45 km from the coast in the Bay of Bengal.
The find comes only a month after Hardy Oil and Gas announced the start of drilling at the exploration well KGV-D3-R1.
In a statement, RIL said that the well was drilled at a water depth of 1,982 metres and to a total measured depth of 4,113 metres.
It added that the government and the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons had been notified.
The commercial potential of the discovery is being ascertained through greater data gathering and analysis.
Last month, Hardy Oil had said that the D3 licence provided for the drilling of a minimum of six exploration wells within the first exploration phase. It added that the first two exploratory wells (KGV-D3-A1 and KGV-D3-B1) resulted in gas discoveries (Dhirubhai 39 and 41) and were currently under appraisal.
The partners plan to drill another three exploration wells in KG-D3 in 2010.
The success attained in this block comes more than two months after Hardy Oil had said that it was abandoning work on an exploratory well in the larger KG-D9 block.
This news had then hit both the RIL and Hardy Oil shares. Though this block has not been much in the news unlike RILs KG D6 block, Hardy Oil had then said that it had plans to drill three more wells in the D9 block.
While RIL had attained huge success in its KG-D6 block, chairman and managing director, Mukesh Ambani had told shareholders at the annual general meeting last month that it planned an aggressive exploration campaign aimed at diversifying the search for new accumulations over the next three years.
RIL is now producing about 50 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas from two fields in the KG-D6 block. Production is expected to jump to 80 mmscmd shortly.