* India asks Reliance, BP to share D6 record with govt
* Promises speedy clearance to Reliance-BP JV's 4 investment
July 17 (Reuters) - BP and Reliance Industries
must hand over documents on their huge D6 gas field
off India's east coast to the country's auditor, the government
said on Tuesday, or risk a deadlock on development crucial to
stem production declines.
The D6 block in Krishna Godavari basin, jointly operated by
the two energy companies, was expected to contribute up to a
quarter of the gas supply for Asia's third-largest economy, but
its unforeseen decline in output has left India more dependent
on expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.
India's federal auditor had last year criticised the
government as well as Reliance over development of the KG gas
field, which has been beset by arguments over spending and
strategy for its complex geology.
"It was ... brought to (the companies') notice that CAG
(Comptroller and Auditor General) recommended withholding of
sanction to work plans and budgets if access to records is
denied to CAG," the statement said on Tuesday, referring to a
meeting between the companies and the ministry on July 13.
Media reported earlier in the day that Reliance and BP had
said at the July 13 meeting that D6 would stop producing in 2015
unless the government approved investment plans.
The ministry has asked BP and Reliance to share all the
records and accounts of the D6 block with the federal auditor,
the statement said.
The gas output from the D6 block was projected to decline to
20 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) in 2014/15, less
than half the 60 mscmd it produced in 2010 and well below
planned peak capacity of 80 mscmd.
The oil ministry also said it would recommend that the
upstream regulator declare finds in some wells in the D6 and in
nearby Mahanadi basin as commercial and would expedite approvals
for two blocks in the Cauvery basin in the east coast.
Reliance holds a 60 percent stake in the D6 block, while BP
has a 30 percent share it obtained in a $7.2 billion deal in
Canadian group Niko Resources, which has a 10
percent stake in D6, last month cut the reserve estimate for the
block. It estimated that its total proved plus probable reserves
at the block had decreased to 1.93 trillion cubic feet (tcf) as
of March 31.