Healthy interest in oil block auction

The upstream regulator has so far received 51 proposals for oil and gas exploration under the new open acreage licensing regime that offers pricing and marketing freedoms to the winning bid.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 24.10.17
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New Delhi: The upstream regulator has so far received 51 proposals for oil and gas exploration under the new open acreage licensing regime that offers pricing and marketing freedoms to the winning bid.

India in July opened 2.8 million sq km of its sedimentary basins for oil and gas exploration to raise its production and cut the excessive dependence on imports.

The Open Acreage Licensing (OAL), which allows companies to select oil and gas blocks after studying seismic data, "is witnessing an encouraging response from the industry", the directorate general of hydrocarbons said.

"So far, 51 expression of interests (EOIs) have been received covering an area of approx 60,000 sq km," the DGH said prior to a roadshow in Mumbai this week.

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan will attend the meet on October 26, which will "serve as a platform for discussion on the new policy reforms in the sector".

He will interact with the heads of exploration and production (E&P) companies, oil and gas service providers, financial institutions and private equity firms to "take a holistic view of financial and allied community on the sector", the DGH said.

Sources said global players such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Total and domestic explorers such as Reliance Industries, Essar, Vedanta, ONGC have all assessed the data.

However, it is not known whether they have submitted any expression of interest (EoI).

The last date for the submission of EoIs is November 15 and the winners will be announced by January 1.

The shift to OAL is part of the government's strategy to raise domestic crude production to 155 million tonnes and reduce import dependence by 10 per cent in five years.

The auctions under OAL will be based on revenue share to the government.