You are here

India to auction 86 exploration blocks in January

21st November 2013

India will auction 86 oil and gas exploration blocks under the tenth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy in January

Offshore drilling block
Under NELP, 100 per cent FDI has been permitted in E&P activities, India's oil minister says

The Indian government will launch an auction for oil and gas exploration blocks under the tenth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) to ramp up oil and gas production in the BRIC country, The Hindu reported, and to retain and attract the interest of international oil companies.

Indian oil minister Veerappa Moily said at KPMG Energy Conclave: “In order to accelerate domestic exploration, DGH (Directorate General of Hydrocarbons) has carved out about 86 blocks, for which necessary clearances are being taken from the ministries concerned. The offering of exploration blocks under NELP-X is likely to take place in the month of January, 2014.”

An expert committee has been formed to liaise with the ministry of defence and the ministry of environment and forests in order to facilitate approvals for the oil and gas exploration blocks. According to the Times of India, a senior official at the petroleum ministry said: “The committee, including one ex-army man, an ex-navy man and an ex-forest official, would try to get initial clearances in advance and also avoid sensitive blocks coming under defence areas.”

Moily said: “The NELP regime has increased the exploration and production activities in the nation. Under NELP, 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) has been permitted in exploration and production of oil and gas. All these policy measures have resulted in significant investments in the E&P sector.”

India has already witnessed two international oil giants, Chevron and BHB Billiton, relinquishing their exploration blocks after failing to receive necessary clearances from the concerned government bodies. The NELP-X has the potential to be the largest bid round if all the 86 exploration blocks are allotted without any hindrance.



Related topics: 

Got a news tip? Email