New Delhi, Oct 6: Reliance Industries threatened to cease oil and gas exploration if the promise of drilling moratorium to cover for the acute shortage of rigs was not fulfilled.
"The company today made a presentation to the ministry seeking relief for not being able to meet its commitment for drilling wells on 14 blocks during 2006 and mid-2009 when there was an acute shortage of drilling rigs," said a Petroleum Ministry official.
Firms like Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and RIL were unable to meet their work commitments for the blocks or areas they won under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) rounds.
Since 2008, an Empowered Committee of Secretaries twice cleared grant of a three-year drilling holiday or moratorium.
However, despite all such efforts, Petroleum Ministry was not able to move the Cabinet on this issue.
"They told us that they diverted their rigs on government's request for expediting production of natural gas from Krishna Godavari basin D6 fields in national interest and so were unable to meet their entire drilling commitment on other blocks," he said.
He added that if the promised drilling holiday till Dec 2010 was denied then it would pull out of the blocks.