India launches OALP III auction of O&G assets

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan on February 10 launched Round–III auction of upstream oil and gas assets under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) on the sidelines of PETROTECH-2019

February 10, 2019

Under this bid round III, 23 blocks, covering 31,000 sq km area will be available for exploration

OALP Bid I offered 55 Blocks in October 2018, OALP Bid II in January 2019 had offered 14 Blocks

India holds estimated oil and gas deposit of 28 trillion tonnes - 60 per cent is yet to be harnessed

India holds estimated oil and gas deposit of 28 trillion tonnes - 60 per cent is yet to be harnessed

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan on February 10 launched Round–III auction of upstream oil and gas assets under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) on the sidelines of PETROTECH-2019. Under this bid round, 23 blocks, covering over 31,000 sq km area will be available for exploration. India is the third largest energy consumer in the world and likely to have one of the fastest growing energy markets of the world in the coming years. The 13th edition of the PETROTECH summit, India’s flagship biennial hydrocarbon conference, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The event aims to secure improved foreign partnerships.

Following the contract signing of 55 Blocks under OALP Bid Round-I, the Government had launched the OALP Bid Round-II in January 2019, offering 14 Blocks under petroleum operation contract for global competitive bidding. With the launch of the third bidding round, more than 120,000 sq km of area has now been made available for exploration in last one year. The OALP adopts all features of Government’s liberalised Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) – reduced royalty rates, no oil cess, uniform licensing system, marketing and pricing freedom, Revenue Sharing Model, Exploration rights on all retained area for full contract life, among others.   

The second bid rounds for both Discovered Small Field Policy and Open Acreage Licensing Policy are now underway and have also seen encouraging response from investors. The auctions come as part of India’s goal to cut crude oil import by 10 per cent by 2022 by increasing domestic production. India has sought to ease up investment in the space through policy amendments and liberalisations. India holds estimated oil and gas deposit of 28 trillion tonnes, of which 60 per cent is yet to be tapped. The aim here has been to attract private and foreign technology and investment in developing these resources. Since 2000, India has auctioned over 250 oil and gas blocks.