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Poor response to oil auction

ONGC bagged all the 7 oil and gas blocks on offer, including one in Bengal that saw just eight bids
Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi on Thursday.

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 02.01.20, 09:03 PM

The fourth round of auction for oil and gas blocks saw only two PSUs — ONGC and Oil India Limited — submitting bids for seven fields.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) bagged all the seven oil and gas blocks on offer, including one in Bengal that saw just eight bids. The PSU has signed the contracts for the seven blocks auctioned under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP).

The latest licensing round was held on revamped terms. ONGC had put in bids for seven blocks, while Oil India had put in an offer for one block at the close of bidding on October 31, 2019.

Under OALP, companies are allowed to carve out areas they want to explore . They can put in expression of interest for any area throughout the year but such interests are accumulated thrice a year. The areas sought are then put on auction.

ONGC was the sole bidder in five blocks in Madhya Pradesh and one in Purnea in Bengal. It was locked in competition with Oil India in one block in Rajasthan.

The seven blocks add exploration acreage of 18,510 square kilometres spread over three sedimentary basins and have a resource potential of around 33 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas, th egovernment said.

“With the culmination of bid round-IV today (Thursday), we have awarded 94 blocks under the exploration policy in a very short time span of two and a half years,” oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. 

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