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ONGC leads race for new oil blocks

New Delhi, Oct. 28: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is poised to bag as many as 15 of the 21 oil and gas exploration blocks offered in the fourth round of new exploration licensing policy (Nelp-IV).

ONGC has won some of these blocks in partnership with other companies such as Indian Oil Corporation.

Private sector oil major Reliance Industries Ltd is the front runner for only one block. Reliance Industries, along with Hardy Oil of the UK, was in the race for eight of the 12 deepwater blocks on offer but its bid was found attractive enough only in one deepsea block.

Bids for the oil and gas blocks on offer in Nelp-IV have been evaluated by the petroleum ministry and the recommendations will now be sent to the empowered committee of secretaries. The recommendations will then be sent for cabinet approval before the blocks are finally allocated.

Cairn Energy of the UK won a Ganga Valley onland block on its own and an onshore block in the Cambay basin in Gujarat in partnership with ONGC.

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