OALP-III of­fers 23 oil & gas blocks

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - —PTI

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.

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