BP, Reliance plan $5 bn investment to develop India gasfield

Britain's BP and India's Reliance Industries said Tuesday they plan to invest more than $5 billion to develop India's largest natural gasfield in the Bay of Bengal over the next few years.

"This plan, when implemented, would entail a potential total investment in excess of $5 billion over the next three to five years," the two companies said in a statement, referring to the KG-D6 gasfield.

BP, already India's largest single British investor, and Reliance, controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, said they would invest in a series of projects to develop four trillion cubic feet of gas resources from the block.

The annnouncement came as British Prime Minister David Cameron was in New Delhi on the second-day of a trade-focused official visit, during which he declared that his country wants to be India's trade "partner of choice."

Gas from these projects "will deliver energy to millions of Indians and would significantly help India in reducing its import dependence", said Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily.

"The decision to join forces with Reliance Industries to invest $5 billion in the next few years into India's gas markets reinforces how two of Britain and India's leading companies can work together," Cameron added.