In his first major decision, oil minister M Veerappa Moily has given conditional approval to Reliance Industries and Cairn India to continue exploring for oil and gas within their producing fields.
RIL and Cairn had not been able to add to their production as their requests for drilling exploration wells in producing areas were not acted upon for over a year now.
Moily, who after taking over as the oil minister in end of October had promised speedier decision making, said the approval has been given to the two firms.
“The government has decided to allow exploration in mining lease area. This will open up sufficient investment climate and it will help reducing imports,” he said at an Assocham meeting here.
However, the permission is subject to the condition that cost recovery of such exploration wells would be allowed only in case there is a commercially exploitable discovery.