The government will auction unmonetised large oil and gas fields of state-owned ONGC and OIL to boost the country’s hydrocarbon production, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said as the government launched the third round of auctions for discovered small fields (DSF-III).
“There will be no DSF next time. Next time, it will be a ‘major’ round (auction of large fields),” Pradhan said.
Pradhan said companies cannot indefinitely sit on resources they may have discovered. These resources actually belong to the nation and they will be monetised by bidding them out to interested entities. For a nation that imports 85 per cent of its oil needs, resources lying idle for a long time cannot be permitted, he said.
In the current DSF round-III, 32 oil and gas blocks with 75 discoveries have been offered. These small and marginal fields were discovered by ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL) but they were not economically viable to be developed because of their size.
These exploratory fields spread over nine sedimentary basins cover an acreage of 13,685 square kilometres and have a potential of approximately 232 million tonnes. This is the largest number of discoveries on offer in any of the DSF rounds so far.