Adani Welspun strikes gas in Mumbai offshore

New Delhi: A joint venture of Adani Group and Welspun Enterprises Ltd has discovered natural gas reserves in an area off the Mumbai coast, the two firms said in a statement Monday.

The first-ever gas discovery was made in the NELP-VII block MB-OSN-2005/2, Adani Welspun Exploration Ltd (AWEL) said.

Spread across 714.6 square kilometers, the block is located in the prolific gas-prone Tapti-Daman sector of the Mumbai Offshore basin where production is already underway by other operators.

"The pay zones and flow rates encountered have exceeded the company's initial estimates," the statement said without giving details. "With the information gleaned from adjoining fields/areas, this discovery is of substantial significance for both the company and the nation."

Adani Group head Gautam Adani said the discovery will help take India closer to its target of becoming a gas-based economy.

"India is the world's third-largest consumer of energy. But the share of natural gas in India's current energy mix is just 6 per cent, among the world's lowest. We can triple this by 2030. Our discovery of gas in Mumbai Offshore's Tapti-Daman sector will take us closer to this target," he tweeted. AWEL was awarded the block under the New Exploration Licensing Policy's (NELP) seventh bid round.

"Early indications pointed to the occurrence of gas-bearing reservoirs within the sandstone reservoirs of the Mahuva and Daman formations," the firm said. The drilling of the current well in March 2021 has confirmed the presence of substantial quantities of gas and condensate in the block.

Out of the three potential zones identified during drilling, two objects tested by Drill Stem Testing (DST) flowed substantial gas and condensate to the surface. While the first object flowed 9.7 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas along with 378 barrels a day of condensate, the second object flowed 9.1 mmscfd of gas along with 443 barrels a day of condensate.

Speaking on the discovery, Sandeep Garg, MD, AWEL, said, "In addition to being value accretive for the company, this discovery could be a significant breakthrough for our nation given India's focus to nearly triple the share of natural gas in its energy mix by the end of this decade."

He said the company is also an operator with 100 per cent interest in an adjacent Discovered Small Field B-9 Cluster in this prolific gas-bearing zone.

"The proximity of these two prospective blocks will enable AWEL to synergise and optimise the development of both the blocks," he said.

AWEL is a joint venture company between Ahmedabad-based Adani Group and Mumbai-based Welspun Group. Adani Group holds 65 per cent through its flagship company Adani Enterprises, while Welspun Group holds 35 per cent through Welspun Natural Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of its flagship company Welspun Enterprise.

Meanwhile, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) on Monday said it will partner with John Keells Holdings PLC and Sri Lankan Port Authority to develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) at the Colombo port in Sri Lanka.

As the first-ever Indian port operator in Sri Lanka, Adani Ports will hold 51 per cent in the terminal partnership and WCT will be developed to reach a capacity of 3.5 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units).

The Colombo port is one of the most preferred regional hubs for transhipment of Indian containers and mainline ship operators with 45 per cent of Colombo's transhipment volumes originating from or destined to an APSEZ terminal in India, APSEZ said.

"APSEZ... a key subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group, received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from the Ministry of Ports and Shipping of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, acting on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, pursuant to approval from the Sri Lankan Cabinet of Ministers for the development and operations of WCT in Colombo, Sri Lanka," the company said in a statement.

APSEZ will partner with John Keells Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka's largest diversified conglomerate, and with the Sri Lankan Port Authority (SLPA) as a part of the consortium.

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