According to a top official, Reliance Industries Ltd and UK supermajor BP are nearing the start of production from their massive MJ deep-water project in the KG-D6 block, which will significantly boost gas output from the prized east coast asset. The MJ field will be operational this quarter, according to Sashi Mukundan, Regional President and Head of Country, India, BP Group.
Reliance and BP are investing approximately USD 5 billion in the further development of KG-D6 through three separate projects aimed at revitalising gas production from the offshore asset. While the first two developments, R-cluster and Satellite Cluster, have begun producing gas, MJ is nearing completion. The two fields currently produce around 20 million standard cubic metres of gas per day, and MJ would assist in increasing output to 30 mmscmd, meeting up to 15% of India’s gas demand.
“MJ, the third of three developments, is expected to come on stream this quarter. Together, R-Series, Satellites Cluster and MJ at their peak will produce 30 mmscmd (or 1 billion cubic feet per day) of natural gas, nearly a third of India’s domestic gas production,” he said.
The two partners intend to use a floating production system at high sea in the Bay of Bengal to bring the deepest gas discovery in the KG-D6 block to production.
The MJ-1 gas discovery is about 2,000 metres below the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1 and D3) fields, the first and largest in the KG-D6 block. A minimum of 0.988 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of contingent resources are estimated to be present in MJ-1. There are also oil deposits in the field.
Both gas and oil will flow from wells drilled beneath the seabed to the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO), where impurities will be removed. Oil will be loaded onto tankers for shipment to refineries, while gas will be transported onshore via an undersea pipeline to customers.
Reliance stated last month in its third quarter earnings investor presentation that a phase-II drilling and completion campaign was underway and that a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) was currently on field location. “Production expected to commence in 4Q FY23 (i.e. January-March quarter).”
The double-hulled FPSO built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea can handle 60,000 barrels of liquids per day and 12.7 million cubic metres of gas per day. The floater is expected to have a condensate production capacity of 30,000 bpd and a water-handling capacity of at least 20,000 bpd, with the latter capacity potentially expanding.
The R-Cluster began production in December 2020, and the Satellite Cluster began operations in April. While R-Cluster is expected to reach a plateau of around 12.9 mmscmd in 2021, Satellite Cluster will peak at 6 mmscmd. The peak output of the MJ field will be 12 mmscmd.
Petroleum-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance has made 19 gas discoveries in the KG-D6 block so far. D-1 and D-3, the largest of these, began production in April 2009, while MA, the only oilfield in the block, began production in September 2008. While the MA field stopped producing in 2019, the D-1 and D-3 fields stopped producing in February 2020. Other discoveries have been surrendered or taken away by the government for failing to meet production timelines.
The MJ development, which is located on Block KG-D6 in water depths ranging from 600 to 1,200 metres, includes seven production wells that will be linked to the FPSO via a pair of subsea drill centres.
The reservoirs at MJ are approximately 2,000 metres below the producing D1-D3 gas fields, and the project is expected to be the third largest on the block.
Reliance has a 66.67% operating stake in KG-D6, with BP owning the remaining 33.333%.
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