Reliance Industries Limited chief Mukesh Ambani on Thursday said the company will further invest Rs 40,000 crore with partner BP Plc, formerly known as British Petroleum, in a jointly-owned gas production block D6 in the Krishna-Godavari basin. Ambani and BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley addressed a joint conference after their meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday morning.

Dudley said energy security in India was top priority for Modi and the RIL-BP partnership. The BP chief said the investment is expected to produce 30-35 million cubic meters of gas a day, phased out over 2020 to 2022. Dudley said he wants to reinforce the partnership’s confidence in the Centre’s energy policy.

Meanwhile, Ambani said the partnership will:

  • Explore options to develop differentiated fuels, mobility and advanced low-carbon energy businesses in India.
  • Collaborate in aviation fuel marketing.
  • BP and RIL will enhance their partnership to develop new products to help India’s mobility market.

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said he had invited Ambani and Dudley to also invest in India’s fuel retail sector. Pradhan posted the development on Twitter after a meeting with the two businessmen.

The output from the RIL-BP owned D6 block had been on the decline since April 2010, Reuters reported. Reliance controls 60% of the block, while BP owns 30% and Calgary-based Niko Resources Ltd controls the remainder. Reliance and BP have invested around $1.6 billion, until May 2017, in deep-water exploration and production.

Reliance Industries Ltd and one of its foreign partners, Niko Resources, is facing arbitration proceedings with a penalty of around $1.2 billion (approximately Rs 8,000 crore) for using migrated gas from an Oil and Natural Gas Corporation-owned block in the Krishna-Godavari basin for commercial purposes.

India, which is the world’s third-largest oil importer, has announced it plans to transition to a gas-based economy.