BP and Reliance Industries to Progress and Expand Partnership

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While the price for natural gas RIL-BP produce from the existing flagging fields in the KG-D6 block is capped at $2.48 per million British thermal unit, the rate gas from newer fields in the deep-sea block would fetch $5.56 per mmBtu - a price considered attractive enough for reviving the investment cycle. Ambani said the companies plan to deliver "higher value, low price" solutions to customers and India will be the first market to experience the outcome of the projects.

The companies will award contracts for the development of the "R-Series" deepwater natural gas fields in Block KGD6 off eastern India, BP said in a 15 June press statement.

RIL and BP will also explore options to develop advanced low-carbon fuel.

"India's demand for both energy and mobility is growing and evolving rapidly".

On Thursday, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met BP's Chief Executive Officer, Bob Dudley and Reliance Industries Chairman, Mukesh Ambani in Delhi.

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While RIL already has a fuel retailing license and has some 1,400 petrol pumps on the ground, BP previous year got approval to set up petrol pumps in India.

BP holds a 30 per cent stake in the gas block while Reliance holds 60 per cent, and the two have invested around $1.6bn to May this year in deep-water exploration and production. With regard to pending arbitration, Ambani said RIL will follow legal course for bringing them to conclusion. The production from the gas field is in line with India's commitment to transition from an oil-based economy to a gas-based economy. "BP itself is focusing globally and here in India on these same four pillars", Dudley said. The latest arbitration is against government demanding $1.55 billion compensation from RIL and its partners for "unfairly" producing ONGC's gas.

BP and Reliance, which are resuscitating their partnership after coming together in 2011, have been encouraged by several government reforms, including the freedom to price and market gas.

The output from the RIL-BP owned D6 block had been on the decline since April 2010, Reuters reported. BP's activities include Castrol lubricants; the licensing of competitive petrochemical technologies; oil and gas trading; IT and procurement back office activities; staffing and training for its global marine fleet; and the recruitment of skilled Indian employees for its global businesses. Dudley said: "Changed (government) policies have allowed us to develop new resources".

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is India's largest private sector company, with a consolidated turnover of INR 330,180 crore ($ 50.9 billion), cash profit of INR 42,800 crore ($ 6.6 billion), and net profit of INR 29,901 crore ($ 4.6 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2017. RIL ranks 10th in LinkedIn's "Top Companies Where India Wants to Work Now" (2017). There are already 59,595 retail outlets across the country of which 56,000 are affiliated to oil marketing companies.

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