Reliance Industries Ltd will commission its deepwater MJ gas condensate field in Bay of Bengal block KG-D6 by year end, boosting natural gas output to 30 per cent of India’s total.
“With respect to the MJ gas condensate field project being pretty much on track, for the first gas production by the end of the year,” said Sanjay Roy, senior vice-president for exploration and production, Reliance Industries Ltd, at an investor call post-announcement of the company’s second quarter earnings.
MJ is the third and last of a set of discoveries that Reliance and its partner bp are developing in the eastern offshore block. The two will use a floating production system at the high sea in the Bay of Bengal to bring to production the deepest gas discovery in the KG-D6 block.
“The offshore installation campaign has been completed. So, the subsea production system has been installed. The Phase-II drilling and completion campaign is currently underway, and we’ve completed one well, then we are on track for completion on seven wells,” Roy said.
The FPSO Ruby, which was built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, is now at anchorage in Kakinada, India after completion of sea trials and commissioning of the hull and topsides.
After receiving the necessary approvals and loading of materials, the vessel will move to the field’s location on Krishna Godavari basin Block for hook-up, offshore testing, pre-commissioning and commissioning activities.
“We have just finished sea-trials on that FPSO and now it’s ready to sail in a few days towards the location,” he said. “The next set of activities will include the hook-ups, the offshore testing, the pre-commissioning and commissioning, and thereafter the introduction of hydrocarbon for first gas production which is expected by the year end.” Reliance and bp are spending around USD 5 billion on three separate development projects in the KG-D6 block — R-Cluster, Satellite Cluster, and MJ — which together are expected to produce around 30 million standard cubic meters per day of natural gas by 2023.
R-Cluster started production in December 2020 and the Satellite Cluster came onstream in April last year. While the R-Cluster has a plateau gas production of about 12.9 mmscmd, the Satellite Cluster will have a peak output of 6 mmscmd. The MJ field will have a peak output of 12 mmscmd.
Combined gas output from R-Cluster and Satellite Cluster stood at more than 19 mmscmd during July-September, according to Roy.
Reliance has so far made 19 gas discoveries in the KG-D6 block. Of these, D-1 and D-3 — the largest two — were brought into production in April 2009, and MA, the only oilfield in the block, was put into production in September 2008.
While the MA field stopped producing in 2019, the output from D-1 and D-3 ceased in February 2020. Other discoveries have either been surrendered or taken away by the government for not meeting timelines for beginning production. MJ’s reservoirs are about 2000 metres below the D1-D3 gas fields.
Reliance holds a 66.67 per cent operating interest in KG-D6, with bp holding the remaining 33.33 per cent.