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Govt seeks bids for oil, gas fields for first time in 6 years

Auction is being done on a total of 46 oil and gas fields, the oil ministry said

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: May 24 2016 3:23PM | Updated Date: May 24 2016 3:23PM

Govt seeks bids for oil, gas fields for first time in 6 years

 Government is bidding for auction around four dozen small oil and gas fields in the first such sale in six years, oil ministry said in a newspaper advertisement on Tuesday. 

 
Successful auction of small oil and gas fields is seen as vital to a recently announced hydrocarbon policy, which India expects will unlock energy resources worth $40 billion by easing rules and offering pricing incentives. 
 
World's fourth-biggest oil and gas consumer imports three-quarters of its energy requirements, but PM Modi has set a target of cutting its fuel import dependency to two-thirds by 2022 and to half by 2030. 
 
Auction is being done on a total of 46 oil and gas fields, the oil ministry said, with 26 on land, 18 offshore in shallow water and two in deep water. 
 
Deadline for submitting the bids is October 31, with companies can try for more than one exploration block. 
 
Mostly small, marginal discoveries on offer were initially controlled by two state-owned exploration companies, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Oil India Ltd. 
 
Fields have remained undeveloped for years because of  their small size and the high cost of development. 
 
The present low crude oil prices - now around $48 a barrel - will also likely make it hard for the government to attract bids for the fields. 
 
Some exploration consultants have also lamented the revenue-sharing model being used by India as most countries auction oil and gas blocks based on a cost-recovery model.