India's Reliance Industries (RIL) has been granted a six-month exploration extension by the government for its Mahanadi deepwater block, the company has announced.
Under the production sharing contract the first phase of exploration in the NELP-IV block closed on 16 March 2008.
RIL will now start phase II in the work programme, which has been awarded by India's Petroleum Ministry.
A one-well drilling programme in the deepwater acreage has been planned after rig scarcity led to the postponement of the original drilling plan.
RIL has been holding discussions with companies operating in and around the Mahanadi basin to share its rig equipment.
The worldwide reduction in rigs has hampered RIL’s exploration plans in the last year, forcing the company to postpone drilling across the country.
RIL plans to spud two exploration wells under phase-II of the minimum work programme. Two more exploration wells will be drilled in phase-III, taking the total number of exploratory wells in the deepwater block to four.
By staff writer.