Given the threat of a continuing fall in RILís gas production from the KG Basin fields, to a possible 20 mmscmd in 2015 as compared to the high of 56 mmscmd in 2011 and a projected 80 mmscmd at one point in time, itís not surprising the petroleum ministry has said it will move quickly on the demands made by RIL and its partner BP when it met oil minister Jaipal Reddy and senior officials for over three hours last Friday. This includes more regular meetings of the Management Committees (MC) that control each exploration block, approval of RIL-BPís capex plans, approval of three discoveries, and more. After its fiasco in the D6 block where what RIL thought was a larger inter-connected field turned out to be unconnected gas-bearing wells, RIL wanted permission to dig one more exploratory well. But given RILís exploration phase is over, this needs special permission from the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) and that has not been given so far.
The problem, however, is not restricted to RIL alone. As reported by this paper, Cairnís request for approval of $1 billion of expenditure is pending even though it will end up giving the government $15 billion more (http://goo.gl/kI9bz); ONGC took more than two years to get permission to drill one more exploratory well in its KG Basin blockógiven the billions of dollars of expenditure on development, surely thatís a reasonable precaution to take? Nor, similarly, is it just RIL thatís complaining of the government delaying