Cabinet panel may clear 39 oil blocks

Feb 22 2013, 00:55 IST
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SummaryThe CCI is now looking at clearing differences between the highways ministry and the environment ministry in its next meeting.

After the approval to the Rs 12,000 crore North Karanpura power project of the NTPC in Jharkhand on Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) is now expected to secure approvals for 39 oil exploration blocks soon. This is expected to pave the way for multi billion investments in the petroleum sector.

The process to end differences between the petroleum and defence ministries over the oil blocks was already underway, government sources said, asserting that the latter had already initiated steps to delineate defence area that fell in the oil exploration blocks and allow access for exploration.

At least 32 blocks are expected to be cleared by the defence ministry that had been so far designated as “No Go” areas for exploration on grounds of security.

The approval to the NTPC project has come after almost 14 years. It was held up because the coal ministry wanted it to be relocated after NTPC had already spent Rs 250 crore at the site.

The CCI is now looking at clearing differences between the highways ministry and the environment ministry in its next meeting.

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