New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) R Cluster, ultra-deep-water gas field in block KG 98/3 off the east coast of India, which started production in December 2020, has driven India's total natural gas output by the private sector up by 115.25 percent in March year-on-year, said the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in an official statement. "Natural gas production by Pvt/JVs companies in the PSC (production sharing contracts) regime during March, 2021 was 642.07 MMSCM which is 115.25 percent higher than March, 2020 due to new field D-34 (KG 98/3) starting production in Dec-2020 with 1.3 MMSCMD, ramped up to 9.6 MMSCMD in March-2021," said the ministry.
The KG-DWN-98/3 block is being developed by a consortium of Reliance and British Petroleum (BP). RIL and BP are developing three deepwater gas projects in block KG D6 – R Cluster, Satellites Cluster and MJ – which together are expected to meet ~15 percent of India's gas demand by 2023.
However, even though there was an increase in natural gas output in March in comparison to the previous financial year, the private sector missed the monthly target by 24.49 percent. "… total production by Pvt/JVs companies during March, 2021 is 24.49 percent lower than the monthly target. The cumulative natural gas production by Pvt/JVs during April-March 2020-21 was 4,318.93 MMSCM which is 36.74 percent and 9.45 percent lower than the target for the period and production during the corresponding period of the last year, respectively," said the ministry.
India's natural gas output in March was 2,683.90 MMSCM, which was 11.11 percent higher when compared with March 2020, but 15.11 percent lower than the monthly target. The cumulative natural gas production FY21 was 28,670.60 MMSCM, which was 14.60 percent lower than the target and 8.06 percent lower when compared to FY20.
Natural gas production by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the nomination blocks was 1,831.74 MMSCM in March, which was 10.65 percent lower than the monthly target and 3.87 percent lower when compared with March 2020. The cumulative natural gas production by ONGC in FY21 was 21,871.94 MMSCM which was 8.80 percent lower than the target and 7.89 percent lower when compared to FY20.
OIL registered an output of 210.09 MMSCM, which was 19.65 percent lower than the monthly target and 0.72 percent lower in comparison to March 2020. The cumulative natural gas production by OIL during FY21 was 2,479.73 MMSCM, which was 10.21 percent lower than the target and 7.07 percent lower when compared to FY20.