After forming a strategic partnership with BP, India's Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has lined up a US $5 billion investment plan to reverse falling gas production from the deepwater KG-D6 block, off Bay of Bengal.

RIL and its partners will undertake “a series of projects” to raise the block’s gas output that has dropped to less than 16 MMscm/d from the peak of 64 MMscm/d three years ago, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said.

“RIL and BP have submitted the KG-D6 block enhancement plan using existing infrastructure to increase production from the block. Under this plan, we are planning to invest in a series of projects to develop around 4 Tcf of discovered natural gas resources from the block," Ambani told the company’s shareholders in a letter.

The integrated development plan would primarily focus on initiation of new base management activities in three developed fields – D1, D3 and D26 (MA); exploration of a prospect to test a possible hydrocarbon pool below the current producing fields; and development R-Series and satellite discoveries over the next three to five years.

Ambani said his company would undertake various base management activities, including drilling new wells, workovers, sidetracks, compressors, and enhancement of water handling capacity in all three producing fields to augment gas production.

The regulator, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), has approved drilling a new well (MA-8) and sidetracking two ceased wells (MA-6H and MA-7H) in the MA field to increase gas production and modification of gas injection compressor at the associated FPSO to supply the produced gas.

So far, RIL has drilled six wells in the MA field, the only oil and gas discovery among the 18 finds the company had made in KG-D6 block.  But, it had closed two of the six wells due to high water and sand ingress, which led to the fall in output to less than 4 MMscm/d in the first week of May, from more than 8 MMscm/d three years ago.

The operator has proposed installing a new compressor at an onshore terminal to increase gas recovery from D1 and D3 fields where water and sand ingress have pulled down production to around 12 MMscm/d from the peak of about 54 MMscm/d achieved in March 2010.  New reclamation trains are to be installed to pump excess water from the fields.

The company had shut down 9 of the 18 wells drilled in the D1 and