Government Launches 8th Round of Bidding for 10 Oil and Gas Blocks
Written by Sanjay Kumar
- Deadline extended for OALP bids to boost investment.
- OALP Round-VIII expands exploration acreage significantly.
- Government measures promote investment in the E&P sector.
In a bid to encourage greater participation and investment in the exploration and production (E&P) sector of the country, the Central government has announced an extension of the submission deadline for the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Round-VIII.
This extension aims to provide interested parties with more time to prepare and submit their bids for the 10 blocks available for international competitive bidding. The government’s decision reflects its commitment to attracting increased interest and investment in India’s E&P sector.
Recently, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) launched the OALP Bid Round-VIII, offering 10 blocks for exploration and production activities. To facilitate the bidding process, the government has extended the deadline for bid submission to July 5, 2023, at 12:00 hours. This extension is expected to encourage more companies to participate and foster competition in the bidding process.
The successful allocation of the OALP Round-VIII Blocks will expand the exploration area by a significant 34,364.53 square kilometers, resulting in a cumulative exploration acreage of 242,055 square kilometers under OALP. This expansion will create additional opportunities for oil and gas exploration and production activities in the country.
The OALP is part of the government’s broader strategy to attract investment and enhance domestic oil and gas production. The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), introduced in 2016, established a transparent and investor-friendly framework for the E&P sector. To date, seven rounds of OALP have been successfully concluded, resulting in the allocation of 134 E&P blocks across 19 sedimentary basins, covering an area of 207,691 square kilometers.
The government has taken various measures in recent years to promote investment in the sector. These initiatives include a significant reduction of “No-Go” areas in the Indian offshore by 99%, simplification of procedures for carving out open acreage blocks and providing flexibility in drilling commitments. Additionally, modifications have been made to the contractual framework, evaluation criteria, and bidding terms to improve the ease of doing business and attract more investment.
Interested bidders are encouraged to carefully review the revised terms and conditions, which are available on the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) website and the dedicated e-bidding portal. The government has provided comprehensive information on the changes in the contractual framework, including larger acreage areas, flexible work programs, and extended stabilization periods to incentivize early monetization of discoveries.
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