State-run ONGC, OIL & GAIL corner a lion’s share of oil blocks in OLAP-VII round

State-owned ONGC, OIL and GAIL walked away with most of the eight blocks offered for exploration and production (E&P) of oil and gas in the OALP VII bid round. ONGC won three blocks in the OALP-VII round, while OIL won two. GAIL walked away with one block in Rajasthan, while Sun Petrochemicals won the remaining two blocks, according to information posted by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons on Friday. 

The government, in the meanwhile, has launched the next bidding round, expecting around $700 million of investment in the 10 areas on offer.  

Separately, the oil ministry said on Friday that a new policy for exploring and producing oil and gas, called the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), was promulgated on March 30, 2016. 

Since then, seven bid rounds of the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) have been concluded and 134 exploration and production blocks awarded. These blocks cover 2,07,691 sq km of area across 19 sedimentary basins.

“In continuation of its zeal to accelerate E&P activities, the government has now launched the OALP bid round-VIII, offering 10 blocks for international competitive bidding,” the ministry said in a statement today. The bids are due by September 6. 

“Successful award of round-VIII blocks would add a further 36,316 sq km of exploration acreage and cumulative exploration acreage under OALP regime will be increased to 2,44,007 sq km,” it said. 

The 10 blocks under the present bid round are spread across nine sedimentary basins and include two on-land blocks, four shallow-water blocks, two deep-water blocks and a similar number of ultra-deep-water blocks.

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