Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd are in talks to sell natural gas from their fields in the Bay of Bengal, according to a report in mint. The production is expected to start over the period of next three years.

Shashi Shankar, chairman and managing director of ONGC was quoted as saying, “We want to use the pipeline to reach customers in West India to sell gas from the KG basin. We are talking to some of them for contracts.”

Reliance Industries has a 1,375 km long pipeline connecting Kakinada on the east coast to Bharuch in the west, which ONGC also plans to use.

Shankar was quoted as saying, “ONGC is committed to bring east coast gas on stream by 2019 onwards and ramp up production to around 15 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd). We are discussing with customers on a regular basis.”

Reliance Industries and partner BP Plc has also started discussions to market the natural gas, Sashi Mukundan, BP’s country head and regional president for India, told Reuters last week.

Because of reduction in output in the Krishna-Godavari basin in the Bay of Bengal, Reliance Industries has been operating at a very low capacity utilisation for several years.

The government has recently approved a plan by Reliance Industries and its partner BP to develop two new fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin. The target has been set up by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the share of gas to 15% by 2030 from the current level of 6.5%.