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India approves 16 exploration bids

26th March 2012

Energy giants given go-ahead to uptap India's vast domestic offshore and onshore reservoirs.

Contracts on 16 Indian oil and gas sites will be sealed within 60 days

The Indian government has given the green light to exploration in 16 of its oil and gas blocks and rejected bids for 14, according to a cabinet statement on 23 March.

Auctions opened in March for 34 blocks – eight deep-water, seven shallow water and 19 onshore. Only one block was not bid on. The three remaining bids have not yet been disclosed.

Essar Oil was rejected for a bid on an onshore block, despite the company scoring the highest points and having the required minimum net worth of USD 19.42m.

It also rejected bids by Deep Energy and KGN Oil and Gas Pvt. Ltd. for a block known as CB-ONN-2010/1.  Chinar Commerce Pvt. Ltd. was also rejected for two blocks.

The Petroleum Ministry, through the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), will take steps to finalise the Production Sharing Contracts within 60 days, according to the statement.

India imports about two-fifth of the crude it uses and is keen to quickly tap domestic reservoirs.


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