Reliance Industries has exited the last of its overseas oil and gas assets after it relinquished two blocks in Myanmar.
Reliance Industries has exited the last of its overseas oil and gas assets after it relinquished two blocks in Myanmar. ” Relinquishment of Myanmar Block – M17 and M18 on completion of study/others technical evaluation assessment period,” RIL said in an investor presentation post announcing its second-quarter earnings. With this, the oil-to-telecom conglomerate is left with no conventional oil and gas property overseas. It has just two shale gas assets in the US. Earlier this month, it sold one of the three shale oil and gas blocks it had in the United States for USD 126 million, a third of the price it paid seven years ago. RIL held stakes in three US shale gas ventures – 45 per cent with Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford shale play; 40 per cent with Chevron and 60 per cent with Carrizo Oil & Gas in the Marcellus Shale play.
“Reliance signed agreements to divest all of its interest in the upstream shale gas assets operated by Carrizo,” it said in the presentation. “Transaction is expected to close by the end of 3Q FY18.” The billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led firm had in 2007 set up Reliance Exploration and Production (REP) DMCC primarily for acquiring overseas assets. It had steadily acquired 16 conventional oil and gas assets, including four in Peru, three in Yemen (one producing and two exploratory), two each in Oman, Kurdistan and Colombia and one each in East Timor and Australia. It last bagged two oil and gas exploration blocks in Myanmar in 2014. But the company slowly exited most of its international assets.
It last withdrew from Block 39 in Peru. RIL held 10 per cent interest in the block. Anglo-French oil and gas company Perenco held 55 per cent stake in the block while PetroVietnam of Vietnam held the remaining 35 per cent. The Myanmar exploration blocks were awarded to RIL in March 2015. It held 96 per cent stake in each of the two blocks with the remaining 4 per cent being with a local company. RIL’s domestic oil and gas business portfolio, which at one point of time comprised of 42 blocks or fields, has shrunk to five conventional oil and gas assets and two coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks. As part of its upstream (hydrocarbons exploration and production) portfolio rationalisation, the company has been exiting those assets which it feels are not going to give good return on investment.
According to RIL’s latest annual report, the company’s present domestic portfolio comprises the flagging KG-D6 block in the Krishna Godavari basin, Mahanadi basin block of NEC-25, CB-10 in Cambay and GS-01 in Saurashtra basin. Besides, it also has stake in Panna/Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields in the Arabian Sea. However, Mid and South Tapti fields have been abandoned after production tapered. Also, it has two CBM blocks in Madhya Pradesh. RIL had in February 2011 announced a “transformational” deal when UK’s BP picked up 30 per cent stake in its 23 oil and gas blocks for USD 7.2 billion. However, in August that year the government allowed them to form a partnership in only 21 blocks. Since 2012, RIL and BP have been pruning their portfolio, shedding not so viable acreage. They are now left with just three blocks — the producing KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block in Bay of Bengal, gas discovery areas of NEC-OSN-97/2 (NEC-25) and CB-ONN-2003/1 in Cambay basin.