Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launches Open Acreage Licensing Programme Bid Round-VI

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel August 6, 2021 16:21

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launches Open Acreage Licensing Programme Bid Round-VI

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The advent of the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) promulgatedin March 2016, brought about paradigm changes in the way exploratory blocks are auctioned in India. It led to transition from production sharing regime to revenue sharing regime. The Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) offered the potential investors freedom to carve out blocks of their choice through submission of Expression of Interest (EoI). The EoI window is open round the year and the investors need to wait for periodic launch of bid rounds. After successful completion of 3 bidding rounds, the Government notified further policy reforms within ambit of HELP in February 2019.The focus was shifted from ‘revenue’ to ‘production’ maximization. There was also focus on greater transparency and stream-lined procedures. Bid Rounds IV onwardsare beingcarried out under the furtherreformed policy and revised model bid documents.

The Government launched OALP Bid Round-V on January 14, 2020 for 11 E&P Blocks for an area of19,789 sq. km and completed on November 17, 2020, with the award of all the Blocks to winning bidders. In spite of COVID-19 pandemic, the bidding was successfully completed and blocks awarded.

In the E&P Investor Meet held on 30th July 2021 at New Delhi, the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas had made the announcement that the OALP Bid RoundVI is being launched soon and welcomed the domestic and international communities to participate in the robust Indian energy growth story.

Accordingly, in continuation of its focus on aggressive acceleration of E&P activities, the Government has now launched the OALPBid Round-VIfor International Competitive Bidding with effect fromAugust6, 2021.A total of 21 blocks, with an area of approximately 35,346 sq. km. are on offer to the investors.The bidders would be able to submit their bids through an online e-bidding portal starting August6, 2021 and the deadline for bid submission is October 6, 2021 at 1200 hrs.Considering the COVID-19pandemic situation,bidders are allowed to submit requisite bid documents electronically. Award of these blocks to winning bidders is expected by the end of November2021.

The 21blocks under OALP Round-VIarespread across 11Sedimentary Basins and include fifteenOnland blocks, four Shallow Water blocks and two Ultra Deep Water block. Category wise, there are 12 blocks in Category-I basins, 4 in Category II basins and 5 in category-III basins.

It is expected that this Bid Round VI would generate immediate exploration work commitment of around USD 300-400 million.An area of 156,580 sq. km. has already been awarded under past bid rounds OALP Bid Rounds(I to V). This Bid Round-VIis expected toaddfurther 35,346sq. km, taking the total area forexploration to 191,926 sq. km. under the HELP regime.

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel August 6, 2021 16:21