Third Auction Blocks For India

Third Auction Blocks For India

oil A third round of auctions for oil and gas blocks under a liberal policy is on the way in India. The target is to raise $700 million in exploration investments as the country seeks to become self reliant on its own energy.

23 oil and gas blocks, including 5 coal-bed methane areas, under the Open Acreage Licensing per the oil ministry statement are for grab. Bidding blocks in the latest auction has started and expected to close on April 10.

The blocks offer covered about 32,000 km2 and include 10 onshore areas and one deep-water block.

“In our assessment, there is going to be a significant increase in energy demand over the next 20 years and oil and gas are likely to remain prominent fuels in the global energy basket,” Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at the Petrotech-2019 conference in New Delhi, where the launch was announced.

India imports more than 80% of its crude and needs investment to find new resources and boost input. In a bid to lure investors amid falling oil output, it shifted to the more liberal licensing policy, allowing investors the rare freedom of deciding the areas they want to drill.

Before the first auction in January 2018, India also raised its potential hydrocarbon resources to about 42 Bmt from the 28 Bmt estimated more than two decades ago, citing better data availability.

In the first round India received investment commitment of about $840 million in the 55 blocks auctioned. Of these, 41 blocks were won by Vedanta Ltd’s Cairn division. The second round announced on Jan 7 offered 14 blocks spread over about 30,000 km2.