The round of oil block offers under renewed rules almost fails; Receive 8 offers for 7 blocks

New Delhi, November 1 () India's offer of seven oil blocks in terms of renewed licenses attracted only eight offers from state-owned companies, including six unique offers in the last round of licenses ignored by private and foreign companies.

The General Directorate of Hydrocarbons (DGH) in a statement said that the State Corporation of Oil and Natural Gas (ONGC) bid for the seven blocks, while Oil India Ltd (OIL) submitted an offer for a block at the close of the tender on Thursday .

The block in Rajasthan saw the competition of ONGC and OIL, but the five in Madhya Pradesh and one in West Bengal saw unique offers from ONGC, DGH said.

Seven blocks were offered on land (in the fourth round of the Open Surface Licensing Policy) with an area of ​​approximately 18,500 km2, DGH said. The results show the continued interest of the players established in E&P (exploration and production) of India with the offers received for the 7 blocks. The evaluation of the offers would be carried out temporarily.

The fourth round of bidding under OALP had the least number of blocks. While the first round won 110 bids for 55 blocks, the second round attracted 33 bids for 14 blocks. The third round saw 42 bids for 23 blocks. In the previous three rounds together, 87 blocks covering an area of ​​1.18 lakh km2 have been awarded.

The window of presentation of expressions of interest for the OALP-V bidding round is open until November 30, 2019, and companies have another opportunity to participate in the burgeoning exploration and production sector in India, the DGH said in the notice.

OALP-IV was the first round in renewed terms approved in February 2019.

DGH said that, unlike previous rounds in which blocks were granted to companies that offer a maximum share of oil and gas to the government, the blocks in small or unexplored category II and III basins will be granted to companies that offer to carry out the maximum scan program.

While the blocks in Madhya Pradesh fall into the Vindhyan Basin, which is a category II basin, the Bengal Purga Basin is a category III area where there has been no exploration so far.

Under OALP, companies are allowed to create areas in which they want to explore oil and gas. Companies can express an expression of interest (EoI) for any area throughout the year, but such interests accrue three times in a year. Wanted areas are auctioned. The fifth cycle of EoI presentation is currently ongoing until November 30, 2019, and will be followed by the sixth cycle from December 1, 2019 until March 31, 2020, DGH said. ANZ HRS