Petroleum Ministry Offers 10 Blocks In Eighth Round Of OALP Bid, Expects Exploration Work Commitment Of $600-700 Million

Swarajya Staff

Jul 08, 2022, 12:13 PM | Updated 05:54 PM IST

Pumps draw petroleum from oil wells through the night. (David McNew/Getty Images)
Pumps draw petroleum from oil wells through the night. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The government has opened the eighth round of bidding for the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP), offering 10 blocks for international competitive bidding.

The ten blocks under present bid round are spread across nine sedimentary basins and include two onland blocks, four shallow water blocks, two deep water blocks and two ultra-deep water blocks.

"In continuation of its zeal to accelerate of E&P (Exploration and Production) activities, the Government has now launched the OALP Bid Round-VIII, offering 10 blocks, for International Competitive Bidding on 7 July 2022," the Ministry of Petroleum said in a release on Friday (8 July).

The bids can be submitted through a dedicated online e-bidding portal till 1200 hours on 6 September 2022, the ministry added.

Successful award of Round-VIII Blocks would add a further 36,316 sq. km of Exploration Acreage and cumulative exploration acreage under OALP regime will be increased to 2,44,007 Sq Km, it said.

The ministry expects that eighth round of OALP would generate immediate exploration work commitment of around $600-700 million.

The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) was promulgated on 30 March 2016. Since then seven rounds of Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) have already been concluded and 134 Exploration and Production blocks awarded comprising 2,07,691 sq km of area spread across 19 sedimentary basins.

The Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP), which adopts the revenue sharing contract model, is a giant step towards improving the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the Indian Exploration and Production (E&P) sector, the ministry said.

The policy comes with attractive and liberal terms like reduced royalty rates, no oil cess, no revenue share bidding for blocks in category-II and III basins, marketing and pricing freedom, round the year bidding, freedom to investors for carving out blocks of their interest, a single license to cover both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources, exploration permission during the entire contract period, and an easy, transparent and swift bidding and awarding process.

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