Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) on Tuesday announced a third successive gas discovery in the D3 deep-sea block in the Krishna-Godavari basin, off the east coast. RIL found three gas reservoirs in the KGV-D3-R1 well drilled on the block KG-DWN-2003/1 (or D3), a company statement said here.

The block, located about 45 km off the coast in the Bay of Bengal, is in the vicinity of its prolific D6 block where three of the 19 oil and gas finds have already been put on production. “This discovery in D3 supplements RIL’s understanding, of the petroleum systems within the block,” it said.

RIL holds 90 per cent interest in the block that it won in the fifth round of auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy. Hardy Exploration and Production India Inc, a unit of Hardy Oil of the U.K., has the remaining 10 per cent. Three reservoir zones were encountered at Miocene level having gross thickness of 4, 23 and 16 meters, the statement said adding the discovery has been named Dhirubhai-44.

The first two exploratory wells (KGV-D3-A1 and KGV-D3-B1) resulted in gas discoveries (Dhirubhai 39 and 41) and are now under appraisal. Besides the above discoveries, several prospects have been mapped at different stratigraphic levels, the statement added.

The potential commerciality of the Dhirubhai-44 discovery is being ascertained through more data gathering and analysis, the statement said.

The D3 licence is located in the Krishna-Godavari basin on the east coast, covers an area of about 3,288 sq. km and provides for the drilling of a minimum of six exploration wells within the first exploration phase. 3D seismic has been acquired over the entire block area, the statement said. The exploratory well KGV-D3-R1 commenced drilling on November 2, with the Transocean rig Deepwater Expedition, in water depth of about 1,964 metres. RIL is likely to drill three additional exploration wells on the block before the end of 2010.

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