Hydrocarbon Exploration in India

The Indian government, through the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas (MoPNG), routinely carries out the allocation of blocks (areas) for the exploration of oil and natural gas in the country. This is usually carried out by the bidding system and various national and international companies Exploration & production (E&P) companies participate in it.

The MoPNG signed revenue-sharing contracts for the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Rounds II & III.

Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Rounds II & III

  • MoPNG signed contracts for 32 blocks that will be awarded under Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Rounds II & III.
  • These rounds were launched on 07th January 2019 (II) and 10th February 2019 (III) respectively.
  • A total of 14 blocks were offered through Round II while Round-III offered 23 blocks.
  • The Round -III also included 5 CBM (coal bed methane) blocks.
  • The bidding for both these rounds had closed on 15th May 2019 and following the analysis of the bids, these 32 blocks were awarded for award to 6 companies.

Ongoing Hydrocarbon exploration activity

  • In OALP round I government had released 55 blocks to companies and currently, exploration activities are ongoing in those fields.
  • The first oil/gas from these areas in OALP-I is expected by 2023.
  • To ease the entry of foreign oil companies in India, The Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) was adopted by the government.
  • This comes with attractive and liberal terms like “reduced royalty rates, no oil cess, marketing, and pricing freedom, round the year bidding, freedom to investors for carving out blocks of their interest, a single license to cover both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources, exploration permission during the entire contract period, and an easy, transparent and swift bidding and awarding process” which make exploration for hydrocarbons in India an attractive proposition.

Future activities planned

OALP-IV and OALP-V are planned for completion in the same year. While OALP-IV will accept EoI till May 15, the OALP-V will remain open till November 15, 2019.


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