Government extends OALP timelines due to lockdown

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Published: March 31, 2020 7:40:05 AM

Under OALP bid rounds, companies study the geographical data available of prospective areas, carve out blocks for interested area and submit EoIs.

OALP timelines, expressions of interest, coronavirus, ONGC, OALP rounds, Rajasthan, PSU Oil India, EoIThe government in January awarded contracts to ONGC for seven oilfields offered under the fourth round of OALP auctions.

In the wake of the country-wide lockdown to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Centre has extended the timeline for companies to submit their expressions of interest (EoIs) for the sixth round of auctions under the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP).

“In view of the lockdown due to Covid-19, the EoI cycle for OALP Round VI (ending March 31, 2020) and Round VII (ending July 31, 2020) shall stand merged,” the directorate general of hydrocarbon (DGH) said. “Bidding round would be launched based on EoIs received till July 31, 2020,” it added.

The last date of submission of bids for the fifth round of auctions under OALP is April 16. Under OALP bid rounds, companies study the geographical data available of prospective areas, carve out blocks for interested area and submit EoIs. The DHG then puts up the identified areas for bidding.

The government in January awarded contracts to ONGC for seven oilfields offered under the fourth round of OALP auctions. No private player had participated in the auctions for these blocks in this round. ONGC had bid for all the blocks spread across 18,510 sq km. It was the only bidder for the six blocks offered in Madhya Pradesh and one in West Bengal. For the 2,111-sq km block in Rajasthan, ONGC competed with fellow PSU Oil India.

This is the first round of OALP auction after the Cabinet in February 2019 had amended the revenue sharing model for hydrocarbon exploration and capped the government’s revenue share at 50%. As many as 87 blocks covering an area of 1.2 lakh sq km were awarded in the three previous OALP rounds.

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