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India's open bid round for oil blocks to start July 1

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Staff Writer | June 30, 2017
India oil
Energy   HELP is a part of the strategy

India will open 2.8 square km of sedimentary basins for oil and gas exploration to overseas investors from July 1 in a bid to increase domestic production and cut excessive dependence on imports, oil ministry officials said.

Investors can access data related to India's hydrocarbon reserves and submit bids for any of the basins, which the oil ministry will review for awarding to successful bidders before the next round from January 1, 2018.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Wednesday unveiled the Open Acreage Licensing or OAL programme, the first round of offering oil and gas blocks under the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy, or HELP.

HELP is a part of the government's strategy to double India's oil output to 150 million-155 million mt by 2022 from the current 80 million mt/year.

Launched early last year, it is a market-driven policy framework to accelerate exploration and production activity in India's hydrocarbon sector with an investor friendly revenue sharing regime.

"There will be two rounds of bidding in the Open Acreage Licensing programme in a year," Pradhan said.

OAL will allow investors to select blocks after studying seismic data available from National Depository Data, without waiting for a formal bid round from the oil ministry, said a Directorate General of Hydrocarbons official.

"We expect Open Acreage Licensing to accelerate exploration activities in the country, since investors can express interest in an area they feel has potential without waiting for formal bidding," Pradhan said.

As much as 52% of India's sedimentary basins are still un-appraised and the last seismic data acquisition of the un-appraised sedimentary basins was undertaken by the Indian government nearly 25 years ago.


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