Close on the heels of the Petroleum Ministry directing Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to stop gas supplies to non-core sectors, the Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has decided to send a fact-finding team to probe and assess the sudden decline in the output of gas from the RIL-operated KG-D fields.

A three-member team lead by Gautam Sinha, Head of Production at the DGH will assess and review well-wise production and reservoir performance of KG-D6 fields on April 27 and 28, officials in the Petroleum Ministry said. There has been serious concern among officials over the continued decline in the output from RIL's KG basin fields and the continued refusal of RIL to drill more wells under the agreed pact.

Reliance had in 2006 won government award to invest $8.836 billion on Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1 and D3 fields) in its Eastern offshore KG-D6 block after assuring production of 61.88 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas from 22 wells by April 2011 and 80 mmscmd from 31 wells by 2012. But things have emerged completely different on ground with drastic fall in gas output than what was promised. RIL is only producing about 42 mmscmd from 18 wells drilled so far on D1 and D3 field in the KG-D6 block. Another 8 mmscmd is being produced from MA oilfield in the same block, taking the total output to around 50 mmscmd as against committed 69.88 mmscmd, informed sources said.

RIL claimed output had dipped after touching 61.5 mmscmd achieved in March last year due to falling pressure at wells and that drilling more wells will not solve the problem as it will tap the same resource. The DGH team will reach Visakhapatnam on Tuesday and then proceed to Gadimoga, the landfall point of KG-D6 gas.