The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Reliance strikes gas again

Mumbai, July 17: Reliance Industries (RIL) continues to strike gold. The company today announced that it made a significant oil and gas discovery in its very first well in the deep waters of the Cauvery basin.

Initial tests conducted by the company saw the well producing 31 million standard cubic feet of gas with 1,200 barrels of liquid hydrocarbon per day from the main zone. Another zone tested below the main zone produced around 550 barrels of oil per day with 1 million standard cubic feet of gas. This is the fourth zone in which RIL has made a hydrocarbon discovery.

The buzz is that the total size of the Cauvery assets could exceed that of the Krishna-Godavari basin.

The discovery boosted the RIL scrip as it hit another lifetime high on the Bombay Stock Exchange today and its market capitalisation also swelled to Rs 254,642.69 crore.

RIL has thus become the first Indian company to record a market capitalisation of over Rs 250,000 crore. The scrip ended at Rs 1,827.35 on the BSE today, higher by 2.86 per cent or Rs 50.80 over its previous close. RIL made the world’s largest gas discovery in the Krishna-Godavari basin in 2002. It now expects to start marketing gas from the famed KG-D6 block in the second half of 2008, a relatively short span of time compared with even its global exploration and production counterparts.

Apart from the Krishna-Godavari basin, the other offshore basins where the company has discovered hydrocarbons include Mahanadi and Saurashtra.

P.M.S. Prasad, president and CEO of the petroleum division, told reporters that the find completed RIL’s success story in the east coast of India and it has also showed its accomplishments in deep waters.

RIL, as a deliberate strategy, has been focusing on deep water hydrocarbon discoveries against concentrating largely on onshore or shallow waters.

“We are looking for the big prize despite the challenges that exist in deep water exploration,” he added. The deep water block, called CY-III-D5, is located in the Cauvery basin and covers an area of 14,325 square kilometres. It was awarded to RIL under the bidding round of NELP III. RIL holds a 100 per cent participating interest in the block.

“This basin has proved that it contains hydrocarbons and it opens up significant vistas for the entire basin … We are as excited about the Cauvery potential as we were about Krishna-Godavari,” Prasad said.

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