India to increase domestic oil and gas production by 40 percent

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Sept. 22 – Reliance Industries, India's largest privately held company will start pumping oil and natural gas off India's East Coast from early next year. Although pulling oil from 2,400 metres beneath the cyclone-prone, choppy waters of the Bay of Bengal will be a technological feat for Reliance Industries, the company claims that this is India's ticket to energy independence and Reliance's entry into the club of global energy majors.

Within 18 months, oil and gas production from block D6 of the Krishna Godavari basin will increase India's domestic production by 40 per cent, potentially shaving about US$20 billion from the nation's US$77 billion oil import bill, Reliance officials told the Canadian Press. Canada's Niko Resources Ltd.has a 10 per cent stake in the project. A total investment of US$8.7 billion was spent in developing the block.

The company says the 7,650 square-kilometre block holds 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, 80 per cent to 85 per cent of it natural gas.

India currently ranks low on the list of oil-producing countries, and experts believe the find will put a big dent in global demand for oil, which the International Energy Agency pegs at 86.8 million barrels per day.

Mukesh Ambani, the Chirman of Reliance Industries tld the Times of India that at the peak of production of oil and gas, the output of 0.5 million barrels of oil-equivalent output from Reliance's Krishna-Godavari acreage would be enough to feed cooking gas to 100-120 million households. This will also make it possible to provide natural gas to over 50 million two-wheelers, five million cars and 10 million trucks. In terms of ''distributed power generation'', it would meet the requirement of lighting over 80 million households.