Centre offers 75 fields under third DSF round

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 10, 2021

Awardees can carry out exploration activity during the entire contract period

The Central government on Thursday launched the third round of bids for discovered small fields (DSF), offering 75 fields across 32 contract areas in producing or proven basis.

“Our reform strategy is production maximisation more than revenue earning. Increasing production to reduce import dependence and raise the size of the economy comes before notional revenue earning,” Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said at the launch.

The fields on offer in the third round are of larger size, with over 13,000 sq km in total, said Anand Gupta, Additional Director General (Development), Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. The total hydrocarbon resource on offer in the current round is 232 mmtoe, he added.

The awardees will be allowed to carry on exploration activity during the entire contract period and have full marketing and pricing freedom, said Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor.

“Taxation remains one area of concern on which we are working, so that domestic production can remain more viable,” Kapoor said. “Recently the crude price has gone up so royalty has improved. But we have to keep our domestic production more competitive than imports.”

Most of the discoveries on offer under the third round are located in shallow water fields, with 22 from Mumbai offshore, 18 from KG offshore, nine from Kutch offshore, and five from Cambay offshore. Two deep-water fields from KG offshore are also on offer. The onshore discoveries on offer include eight in Andhra Pradesh, four in Assam, three in Rajasthan, two in Madhya Pradesh, and one each in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

“We are moving into offshore in a big way. A large chunk of India’s production is already coming from offshore but probably the potential is much more,” Kapoor said.

So far, 54 contracts have been awarded under the two previous DSF rounds in 2017 and 2019. Production from multiple projects awarded under the first round will kick off this week, Gupta said. Production from all discovered small fields is estimated to reach 1.32 million tonnes of oil in and 2.91 bcm of gas by 2024-25, he added.

Published on June 10, 2021

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