ONGC does not see Reliance as rival

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Guwahati, Sep 23 (UNI) The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation(ONGC) does not see Reliance India Limited as its business rival, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director R S Sharma said.

Addressing a press conference here last night, the Chairman said the energy market was so vast that the arrival of Reliance with its first production K G basin will only improve the energy position of India.

''I do not think we are rivals. We have just got another organisation in our quest for making the country self-reliant in energy requirement,'' Mr Sharma said.

The Reliance has commenced oil production off the country's east coast, opening up a new deep-water petroleum province in India.

Production from the KG-D6 block, which began last week at 5,000 barrels of oil per day, is expected to hit 5,50,000 barrels of oil and gas daily within the next 18 months.

Not only will the new field reduce India's heavy dependence on imported energy, it will also mark a coming of age for Reliance.

''I have sent a congratulatory message to Mr Mukesh Ambani for the discovery,'' Mr Sharma said, adding that with the country producing 0.05 per cent of the world energy production, more oil producers are always welcome.

Gas production, originally expected to start at the same time as oil, has been delayed until January, Reliance company sources said.

The new oilfield is India's first sub-sea development using a floating production, storage and offloading vessel and has been developed at a water depth of 8,000 feet (2,438 metres). Reliance has discovered 2.5 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves in the KG-D6 block since striking the giant Dhirubhai-26 gas discovery there in 2002.


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