India offers 10 blocks for oil exploration and production

New Delhi, July 8: Accelerating the oil exploration and production activities in India, the Central government on Thursday launched the eighth round of Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Round.

The Indian government is offering 10 blocks for International Competitive Bidding, and the bids can be submitted through a dedicated online e-bidding portal till September 6, 2022.

Successful award of Round-VIII Blocks would add a further 36,316 square km of exploration acreage and cumulative exploration acreage under OALP regime will be increased to 2,44,007 square km, the government said.

The 10 blocks under present bid round are spread across nine Sedimentary Basins and include two onland blocks, four shallow water blocks, two deep water blocks and two ultra-deep water blocks.

It is expected that OALP Round VIII would generate immediate exploration work commitment of around $600-700 million.

The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) was promulgated on March 30, 2016. Since then seven rounds of OALP have already been concluded and 134 exploration and production blocks awarded comprising 2,07,691 of area spread across 19 sedimentary basins.

The policy had adopted the revenue sharing contract model and comes with reduced royalty rates, no oil cess, no revenue share bidding for blocks in Category-II and III basins, 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.