OALP-III offers 23 oil & gas blocks
Greater Noida: The central government on Sunday offered 23 oil and gas and coal-bed methane blocks for bidding in the third round of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) as it looks to more than double the area under exploration to raise domestic output and cut imports.
Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the OALPIII bid round at the Petrotech 2019 conference in Noida.
“In OALP-III, 23 blocks in 12 sedimentary basins are being offered. Of these, five are coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks. Total area on offer is about 31,000 square kilometres,” he said.
The last date for bidding is April 10.
OALP-III will run concurrently with OALP-II, where 14 blocks covering an area of close to 30,000 sq km is on offer for bidding, he said, adding in OALP-I, 55 blocks covering an area of 60,000 sq km were awarded in October last year.
“In one year, we have added about 1.2 lakh sq km of the area to exploration kitty. This compares to 90,000 sq km area under exploration previously,” he said, adding
the area under exploration will double by the time the round ends.
“Our effort is to accelerate exploration of all sedimentary basins of the country,” he said.
In the first round of OALP last year, as much as Rs 60,000 crore was committed in the exploration of oil and gas in 55 blocks or areas.
The 14 blocks being offered in OALP-II bid rounds cover an area of 29,333 square kilometres and bids close on March 12.
Since the Bjp-led NDA came to power in 2014, the government has held two auctions of discovered small fields and a similar number under OALP and the cumulative investment committed is Rs 1,20,000 crore, officials said.
The first OALP bid round got an investment commitment of Rs 60,000 crore. In OALP-II, another Rs 40,000 crore is expected, he said.
India had in July 2017 allowed companies to carve out blocks of their choice with a view to bringing about 2.8 million square kilometre of unexplored area in the country under exploration.