The last date to bid for 55 exploration blocks under the first round of the open acreage licensing policy (OALP) has been postponed by a month, and bidders will now be able to submit bids till May 2, 2018, instead of April 3, 2018. The bidding process started three month ago in the middle of January. The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons in a notification on its website said, \u201cThe competent authority has approved the request for extension of bid submission date under OALP Bid Round-I from April 3, 2018 to 1200 hrs IST on May 2, 2018.\u201d\u00a0 However, the one-line notification did not mention the reason. Also, there is no clarity as to when will the blocks be awarded under the revised time line. They were to be awarded by May 2018 as per the earlier plan. Under the OALP, six companies had submitted expressions of interest (EoIs) for the 55 blocks after studying data from the National Data Repository, and the blocks were put up for bidding through a secret mechanism on a platform hosted by mjunction Services, a joint venture between Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India. While no foreign company submitted EoI, Cairn India was the only private company to submit EoIs. The rest five were state-owned oil companies. The country's largest private explorer, Reliance Industries, did not participate. OALP is a critical part of the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy which was approved in March 2016. Notably, since the last round of bidding under the National Exploration Licensing Policy in 2010, this is the first bidding round for oil and gas exploration.