Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gas reserves in RIL's D4 block double the size of D6:

MUMBAI: India's largest gas producer Reliance Industries may be sitting on yet another gold mine - its block D4. RIL's partner Niko Resources , which owns 15 per cent in the block located on the east coast of India, has raised initial estimates of gas reserves in D4. RIL is the operator of the block with 85 per cent.

Canada-based Niko Resources' chairman and CEO Edward S Sampson has told investors in a conference recently "We feel it's the twice the size of D6 and has prospectivity of up to an exceeding potential for 100 Tcf gas. It would change India and with 15% it would markedly change Niko"

When contacted, Reliance Industries said "The appraisal process is presently being undertaken and we cannot offer any comment." But company sources tell ET NOW that the drilling in the block is expected to begin only by the last quarter of this financial year or early next financial year. The gas reserve of 100 Tcf at D4 is an initial estimate and how much gas from D4 can actually be commercially exploited will only be determined once the drilling begins.

When asked about what this news means for Reliance Industries, Choksey Securities MD Deven Choksey said "It is too early to ascribe a value to these estimates in D4. But even if gas production in the block is three to four years away, it could bring on upside of Rs 45 per share on sum of parts (SOTP) basis to RIL stock."

On Wednesday, RIL's stock went up 2.06 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange with the last traded price at Rs 1044.30.

RIL's chairman Mukesh Ambani has also reiterated time and again the potential in its oil and gas blocks on the east coast. In the company's 36th annual general meeting in June he told his shareholders "Reliance has intensified its exploration campaign across the deepwater basis in the East Coast, with the objective of doubling the proven reserves base in the next three years."

Institutional investors say, for RIL, reserve replacement post D6 exhaustion is critical, which D4 can provide. Any development on that regard can provide upside to SOTP valuation of RIL.

Source: ET

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