As the deadline for submission of expressions of interest (EoI) for oil and gas fields under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) ended on Wednesday, state-run ONGC with 26 EoIs and Cairn India with 15 have topped others in evincing interest.
As the deadline for submission of expressions of interest (EoI) for oil and gas fields under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) ended on Wednesday, state-run ONGC with 26 EoIs and Cairn India with 15 have topped others in evincing interest. A total of 56 EoIs have been submitted under the first round by oil explorers under the OALP regime, sources said. An ONGC executive, requesting anonymity, said the areas selected by the company are spread across the country, both onshore and offshore. However, he refused to identify the fields the company is interested in. In July, the government made available 2.8 million sq km of sedimentary basins in the country for investors with a view to enhancing domestic production and cutting imports by 10% by 2022.
The import dependency for oil and gas is at present 80% of the total requirement. By 2030, the Narendra Modi-led government plans to halve the import. Under OALP, once an explorer select areas after evaluating the National Data Repository (NDR) and submits the EoI, it will be put up for competitive bidding and the entity offering the maximum share of oil and gas to the government will be awarded the block. The new system replaces the older system wherein the government itself used to carve out areas to be put out for bidding.
The Cabinet had in March 2016 approved the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP), under which uniform licences for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbons would be provided enabling contractors to explore conventional as well as unconventional oil and gas resources. The fields will be offered under a revenue-sharing model and offer marketing and pricing freedom for the crude oil and natural gas produced. NDR is created to provide explorers data on the country’s repositories, allowing them to choose fields according to their capabilities.