New Delhi: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on Tuesday signed contracts for 11 blocks awarded under Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Round-V in the presence of Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan.
Of 11 blocks in 8 sedimentary basins covering a total acreage of 19,789.04 sq km, ONGC has bagged 7 blocks while 4 blocks have gone to Oil India Limited (OIL). Immediate exploration work commitment worth Rs 465 crore has been made to the bid winners.
Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said OALP is a market friendly policy which is driving self-reliance in energy sector. The successful roll-out of the HELP regime, followed by OALP Bid Rounds, has led to increase in exploration acreages in the country. The exploration acreage which stood at about 80,000 sq km from earlier regimes now stands at around 2,37,000 sq km.
The minister assured the OLAP winners of the ministry’s all possible help in carrying out their activities by facilitating the relevant approvals from other Central ministries and also the state governments.
Pradhan said the OLAP winners should farm out these areas to bring in international players into the exploration activities and run the business in a professional manner. An independent body should be set up for data gathering and data management so that all the bidders can have access to the relevant information for making an informed investment decision, he added.