Centre eyes $600-m from Round II of OALP bids

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 07, 2019 Published on January 07, 2019

Dharmendra Pradhan Petroleum Minister

Round III to follow within weeks

The Centre expects to attract $500-600 million in investments from the 14 oil and gas blocks on offer under the latest round of the Open Acreage License Policy (OALP). These blocks cover an area of approximately 30,000 sq km.

Launching the second round of bids, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan nudged the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons to try and meet deadlines. “The second round is seven days late. It was scheduled to be launched in 2018 itself,” he remarked, adding: “The second round will be followed by the third within a few weeks.”

In Round II of OALP, bidders can submit their e-bids till March 12.

The 14 blocks are spread across seven sedimentary basins. They include eight on-land blocks, five shallow water blocks and one ultra-deep water block. The third round is expected to offer approximately 32,000 sq km of area.

In the latest round, 10 blocks were based on expressions of interest (EoIs) submitted by the bidders, and four were carved out by the government based on data from the National Seismic Programme and the Centre’s Resource Reassessment Study, said Secretary of Petroleum and Natural Gas, MM Kutty.

Challenge for India

For India, reducing fuel imports and increasing domestic exploration and production has been a challenge, said Pradhan. “The government has undertaken a large number of reforms to bring in more investment and increase domestic production. Almost 60,000 sq km area was offered under OALP Bid Round I and 30,000 sq km more is being offered under the second round, while the third round is almost ready,” he added.

Fiscal incentives

He further said more fiscal incentives will be given to increase production, and difficult fields will be given special incentives. Pradhan also said India should set its own petroleum standards with respect to quality and safety.

Earlier in the day, in a written response to the Lok Sabha, Pradhan said gross estimated revenue of ₹45,000 crore is anticipated under the Discovered Small Field Bid Round-II from 25 contract areas. Another ₹9,000 crore is expected as revenue under the Discovered Small Field Bid Round-I from 30 contract areas.

“The last date of bid submission under Discovered Small Field Round-II has been extended by one month, to January 18, 2019, on account of requests received by the prospective bidders,” he added.

Published on January 07, 2019
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