Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday launched the Offshore Bid Round offering and assured transparency, efficiency and ease of doing business to investors. In a keynote address to industry leaders in Houston, the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister described the initiatives taken by his Ministry in accelerating the exploration and production activities in India.

Puri also gave his views on the importance of Coal Bed Methane in increasing India's domestic production and reducing the country's import burden. He launched the Special CBM (popularly known as Coal Seam Gas) Bid Round-2022 for International Competitive Bidding on Monday in Houston.

Simultaneously, Puri launched the Offshore Bid Round offering 26 blocks — 18 carved out by DGH and eight as a result of expression of interest (EoI) from potential investors — covering an area of approximately 2.3 lakh sq km. Out of 26 blocks, three blocks based on EoIs are onshore covering an area of only 3,666 sq km, a media release said.

Gas-based economy

India, which is the third largest energy consumer in the world, is likely to have one of the fastest-growing energy demands in the coming years. The Narendra Modi government has set a vision to make India a gas-based economy, by increasing the share of gas in the energy mix. The importance of domestic gas in the energy basket is extremely crucial considering the uptrend in gas demand, price, and rising import bills, the minister noted.

A step towards meeting this demand growth and reducing the hydrocarbon import dependency, India has made "transformational reforms" in the recent years since the formulation of the policy of CBM. These investor-friendly policy reforms have made the CBM sector an attractive investible opportunity, the official release said.