At a recent meeting of the National Secretary Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji, it was decided to clear Reliance Industries' (RIL) producing KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-26.
The meeting, held on February 27, decided to clear fully the exploration and production at the blocks and also relaxed stringent conditions for most of the 32 other blocks.
During the meeting, it was decided to clear fully the KG-D6 block of RIL for oil and gas activity by reducing the total area of 7,645 square kilometre by 495 sq km to meet defence needs.
It may be noted that the government declared "No-Go" zones in all 8 blocks, including RIL's Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block and gas discovery area of NEC-25 in the North East Coast ( NEC) region.
They were declared "No-Go" because of reasons like overlapping with proposed Naval base or being close to missile launching and Air Force exercise area. Stringent conditions were put for another 32 exploration areas.
RIL's NEC-OSN-97/2, where six gas finds have so far been made, was fully cleared with the "hold harmless" clause for any accidental debris. RIL's KG-OSN-2001/1 was also cleared but the block had already been relinquished by the operator.
However, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC KG basin blocks KG-OSN-2005/1 and KG-OSN-2005/2 and BG Group's KG-DWN-2009/1 would remain No-Go areas as they fall directly within the boundary of the proposed naval base.