CCEA awards two blocks to GAIL, rejects Ishars bids

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 11 2013, 07:31am hrs
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday rejected the bids of Ishar Gasoil for three oil and gas blocks put on the block under the ninth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).

The government cancelled the bids for three blocks RJ-ONN-2010/1, GV-ONN-2012/1 and CB-ONN-2010/2 due to negative net worth. Since there is no other bidder for the block GV-ONN-2012/1, this block will not be awarded at all, finance minister P Chidambaram said, briefing meadiapersons about CCEA decisions.

Simultaneously, the Cabinet awarded two blocks to GAIL (India) and its consortium and Deep Energy consortium, respectively. Since there was no other bidder, one block has not been awarded.

NELP-IX was launched in October 2010 during which 34 blocks, covering an area of about 88,807 sqkm, were offered. The offered blocks included eight deepwater blocks, seven shallow water blocks and 19 onland blocks. A total of 74 bids were received for 33 blocks from national oil companies and private/foreign companies. No bid was received for one exploration block in shallow water.

The decision will accelerate exploration and production activities in the country and is expected to result in hydro-carbon reserve accretion, thereby, increasing the energy security of the country.

Additionally, the CCEA also approved the increase in area of dwelling units for rehabilitation (from 27 sqm of super built area to 38.92 sqm) for affected persons under the Jharia and Raniganj coalfields. To be done in line with JNNURM norms, the additional cost will be funded by the respective coal companies, Bharat Coking Coal and Eastern Coalfields.

Meanwhile, as a populist measure before the elections next year, the Cabinet has enhanced unit assistance for quality and affordable housing under the Indira Awaas Yojana from R45,000 to R70,000 in plain areas and from R48,500 to R75,000 in hilly/difficult/LAP districts.