Reliance Industries (RIL) has sold all its conventional oil and gas exploration blocks outside India.
During the July-September quarter, the company pulled out of the last two oil blocks it held in Myanmar, the company said in a presentation to analysts.
“Relinquishment of Myanmar block—M17 & M18 on completion of study/others technical evaluation assessment period,” RIL said in a presentation to investors on its website. RIL had acquired these blocks in 2014 with a 96% stake in each of the two blocks. The remaining 4% each is held by UNRD, a local company.
This marks RIL’s exit from its international oil and gas exploration blocks. Among its international portfolio, RIL now holds two shale gas assets in the US. On 6 October RIL, agreed to sell the first of its shale gas ventures—upstream Marcellus shale gas assets in northeastern and central Pennsylvania in the US—for $126 million. RIL had between 2010 and 2013, bought stakes in three upstream oil exploration joint ventures with Chevron, Pioneer Natural Resource, and Carrizo Oil and Gas; and a midstream joint venture with Pioneer. (Midstream refers to the processing, storing, transporting and marketing of hydrocarbons).
Last fiscal, RIL exited the oil and gas block it had in Peru where it held a 10% interest in the block. Anglo-French oil and gas company Perenco held a 55% stake in the block while PetroVietnam of Vietnam held the remaining 35%.
Over the last few years, RIL had acquired 16 oil and gas assets internationally. These included: four in Peru, three in Yemen (one producing and two exploratory), two each in Oman, Kurdistan and Colombia and one each in East Timor and Australia.
“This merely explains that RIL no longer finds exploration and production a lucrative option. As part of its upstream portfolio rationalisation, the company has been exiting assets which it feels may not give it good return on investment. Domestic exploration and production front is where RIL and its partner BP have decided to focus on, with an investment of Rs 40,000 crore in KG block,” said an analyst on condition of anonymity.
RIL which had a large domestic oil and gas business portfolio with around 42 oil and gas blocks, now holds five oil and gas blocks and two coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks in Madhya Pradesh, India.
According to its 2016-17 annual report, the company’s present domestic portfolio comprises its KG-D6 block in the Krishna Godavari basin, Mahanadi basin block of NEC-25, CB-10 in Cambay and GS-01 in Saurashtra basin. RIL also holds stake in Panna/Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields in the Arabian Sea.