Govt may award NELP-VI oil, gas blocks next week

New Delhi, Jan 19 | Updated: Jan 20 2007, 05:30am hrs
The government is likely to award 52 oil and gas blocks-including the 19 blocks that received erratic financial bids-next week, petroleum minister Murli Deora said on Friday.

The Cabinet is likely to consider awarding blocks offered in the sixth round of bidding under new exploration licencing policy next week, he said here.

If the Cabinet goes with the recommendations of empowered committee of secretaries, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and its partners could get the maximum of 25 blocks, including 12 deep-sea blocks and 10 onland blocks.

Reliance Industries may get seven deep-sea blocks, while Oil India Ltd and partners are tipped to get seven blocks.

Santos is set for two deep-sea blocks. Essar, GSPC and Adani will get two blocks each and Naftogaz-RNRL one. Of the 55 blocks offered in NELP-VI, three did not receive any bid.

Sources said the ECoS, comprising of top officials from petroleum, law and finance ministeries, had on January 15 cleared all the 19 erratic financial bids where the government share of profit oil starts from a high of 98% and tapers down to 1 or 2%. The 19 bids included Reliance Industries top bid for seven prime deep-sea blocks and state-run OILs winning bid for six onshore blocks.

The ECS has recommended all bids that saw governments share plummet to zero, without any changes, sources said.