India's Reliance Industries Ltd. and its Canadian partner Niko Resources Ltd. have begun pumping oil from the deep waters of the Bay of Bengal, which will expand Indian production of oil and gas by 40 percent within 18 months, Reliance officials said Sunday.
"This is India's major victory in the battle for energy security," said Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Reliance officials said block D6 of the Krishna Godavari basin, which covers 7,645 square kilometers off India's eastern coast in the Bay of Bengal, holds 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, 80 percent to 85 percent of it natural gas.
India, the world's fifth largest energy consumer, imports about three-quarters of its oil at an estimated cost of US$77 billion this year.
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