News Brief

Petroleum Ministry Launches Open Acreage Licensing Programme Bid Round-VI, 21 Blocks On Offer

Swarajya Staff

Aug 06, 2021, 03:24 PM | Updated 03:24 PM IST

Oil rigs extracting petroleum (David McNew/Getty Images)
Oil rigs extracting petroleum (David McNew/Getty Images)

The Oil and Petroleum Ministry has launched the sixth round of the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) bid for over 20 exploratory blocks.

A total of 21 blocks, with an area of approximately 35,346 square kilometre, are on offer to the investors in the OALP Round-VI bid.

The 21 blocks under OALP round-VI arespread across 11 sedimentary basins and include fifteen onland blocks, four shallow-water blocks and two ultra-deepwater blocks. Category wise, there are 12 blocks in Category-I basins, four in Category II basins and five in category-III basins, the Petroleum Ministry said on Friday (6 August).

The bidders would be able to submit their bids through an online e-bidding portal starting today, and the deadline for bid submission is 6 October.

The ministry further said that considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation, bidders are allowed to submit requisite bid documents electronically.

Award of these blocks to winning bidders is expected by the end of November, the ministry said.

It is expected that this Bid Round VI would generate an immediate exploration work commitment of around $300-400 million, it added.

An area of 156,580 sqkm has already been awarded under past bid rounds OALP Bid Rounds (I to V). This Bid Round-VIis expected to add a further 35,346 sqkm, taking the total area for exploration to 191,926 sqkm under the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) regime, according to the ministry.

The HELP regime, which adopts the revenue sharing contract model, was promulgated in March 2016 and aims to improving the ‘Ease of Doing Business in the Indian Exploration and Production (E&P) sector.

The regime offers attractive and liberal terms like reduced royalty rates, no oil cess, 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, the ministry said.

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