New Delhi: Reliance Industries' eastern offshore KG-D6 gas field production has fallen to a fresh low of 38.66 million cubic meters per day, as the company has shut down five wells due to water ingress.

Natural gas production from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 fields, the first two of the 18 gas discoveries in the KG-DWN-98/3, or KG-D6, block that were brought to production, was 31.83 mmcmd in the week ending December 18, according to a status report filed by the company with the Oil Ministry here.

The MA oilfield in the same block produced another 6.83 mmcmd of associated gas, taking total production from the area to 38.66 mmcmd.

Total output from the field stood at 39.8 mmcmd in the previous week.
The current rate of KG-D6 production is lower than 61.5 mmscmd achieved in March, 2010, as a drop in pressure in the wells and increased water ingress has led to a lower per-well gas output.

The report said of the 18 wells drilled, completed and put on production in the D1 and D3 fields, five wells -- A2, A10, B1, B2 and B13 -- had to be shut or closed due to high water cut/sanding issues.

The number of shut wells has gone up by one from four in the previous month.

The output from KG-D6 is short of the 70.39 mmcmd-level (61.88 mmcmd from D1 and D3 and 8.5 mmcmd from the MA field) envisaged by now as per the Field Development Plan approved in 2006.

While RIL holds 60 percent participating interest in KG-D6, UK's BP Plc holds 30 percent and Niko Resources of Canada the remaining 10 percent.

RIL started natural gas production from the KG-D6 fields in April 1, 2009, with an output of about 40 mmcmd.

The MA oilfield, where one out of the six wells drilled and completed has been shut down due to high water cut, produces 12,634 barrels of crude oil per day. In addition, 1,836 barrels of condensate are produced from the field every day.

The report said 14.95 mmcmd of the gas output was being sold to fertiliser plants and 20.49 mmcmd to power plants. The remaining 3.22 mmcmd is consumed by other sectors, including industries fed by the East-West pipeline that transports gas from the East Coast to consumption centres in the West.

RIL had projected an output of 38.40 mmcmd of gas during the rest of December.

As per the status report, all of the 22 wells planned in Phase-I of D1 and D3 field development have been drilled, but only 18 wells have been drilled and completed so far. Of these, 13 wells were put on production, while five wells were kept closed due to high water cut and sanding issues.