January 2, 2020
India’s total exploration area to increase by 18,510 sq km, extending across 3 sedimentary basins
New blocks offer 33 billion barrels of oil, with up to US$2.4 billion in investment potential
National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019-25 outlines an investment roadmap worth US$1.4 trillion
Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy improves ease of doing business through adoption of a revenue-sharing contract model
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has signed contracts for seven oil and gas blocks that were on offer in Round IV of the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP), awarding them to the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), according to an official release. The latest round increases India’s total exploration area by 18,510 sq km, extending across three sedimentary basins, with plans already underway to bid for an additional 20,000 sq km in the next round, according to Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, and Minister of Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.
The latest blocks present a resource potential equivalent to 33 billion barrels of oil, located across the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and West Bengal, offering a potential investment of up to US$2.4 billion over the following years. Shri Pradhan addressed the government successfully winning 140,000 sq km of area for production and exploration to showcase its many policy improvements over the last two and a half years.
With regard to reforms in the hydrocarbon sector, he acknowledged the adoption of new technologies and digital solutions to improve production and growth. Similarly, he spoke of potential investments into the energy sector based on the recent National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019-25, which outlined a roadmap for investments worth US$1.4 trillion.
Through the adoption of a revenue-sharing contract model, the Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) has taken strides towards improving the ease of doing business in India’s exploration and production sector. This includes reduced rates, easier licensing for both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources, improved marketing and pricing freedom, and exploration permissions, which will help lead to better transparency and efficiency in the bidding and awarding process. As the first bidding round under the new policy terms, there has been an increased focus on production maximisation through continuous reform.