New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) has cleared Reliance Industries' (RIL) KG-D6 and NEC-25 blocks for oil and gas exploration along with three other areas, the petroleum ministry said Thursday.
"Due to the clearances given in this (cabinet) meeting, the investment already made to the extent of $10.71 billion will be put to use and further investment to the extent of $0.6 billion is envisaged in the next few years," the ministry said listing the five blocks cleared.
Eight blocks, including RIL's Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block and gas discovery area of NEC-25 in the North East Coast (NEC) region, were declared "No-Go" zones for reasons relating to defence issues raised by the Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force.
The petroleum ministry had sought approval for eight blocks, of which one has already been relinquished by RIL.
However, state-run explorer ONGC's 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 a proposed naval base.
The KG-OSN-2009/3 block of Cairn India and ONGC's KG-OSN-2009/4 block got only a small portion cleared, as the rest falls within the impact zone of the Indian Air Force's weapons firing range and launch site.
In January, the CCI had asked the petroleum and defence ministries to sort out their differences on the blocks
The defence ministry had in February cleared RIL's gas producing KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-26 along with most of the areas where it had either barred any oil and gas activity or put stringent conditions.
The CCI, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was set up for speedy clearance of infrastructure projects involving investments of over Rs.1,000 crore.