Pradhan starts roadshow to sell 46 oil & gas blocks
The Dollar Business Bureau
Starting the first roadshow to auction the 46 discovered small gas and oil fields, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas on Monday said that he is confident of receiving good response for blocks that are being auctioned with minimum conditionalities.
Pradhan promised transparent regulations and better ease of doing business in the allocation of the blocks. “The present auction, as well as the newly declared Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), are both noteworthy improvements over the former New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) regime,” he added.
“The purpose to shift from NELP to HELP is to make administrative and fiscal systems that are simpler and more transparent,” the minister said.
As these blocks have no criteria for pre-qualification, he believes that there would be participation from even startups and individuals having experience in the domain.
Pradhan further said as part of the discovered fields, 67 distinct small fields are on the block, from nine sedimentary basins. Out of which 36 are offshore fields and the remaining onshore.
These blocks were first discovered around 40 years back by ONGC and Oil India, but could not be developed due to several reasons.
The offered 67 blocks are present in 46 bid areas with oil or oil equivalent gas of 625 million barrels and in-place reserves amounting to Rs.70,000 crore. These blocks are spread across 1,500 sq km over land, deep-water and shallow water areas, the minister added.
Pradhan mentioned that the aim of the bid round is to enhance the production of oil and gas, in compliance with the government’s mission of reducing dependence on imports by 2022 by 10 percent from the current 78 percent.
India meets 78 percent of its demand for oil and gas via imports. Out of the overall demand of 226 million tonnes, the country produced just 70 million tonnes domestically.