India Offers Seven Oil, Gas Blocks for Bidding
India will offer seven oil and gas blocks for bidding during the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) bid round-4, ministry of petroleum and natural gas said in a statement August 26. The bid round will be officially launched on August 27.
In OALP bid round-4, about 18,500 km2 of exploration area has been offered, the government said. This round will be the first to be based on the revamped terms approved in February 2019, the ministry added. The government has improved the fiscal parameters for blocks that will be available starting with OALP-4. Under the revamped terms more importance has also been given to work programmes rather than the revenue shared with the government.
It is expected that OALP bid round-4 would generate immediate exploration work commitment of around $200mn-250mn, the ministry said. The bidders would be able to submit their bids through an online e-bidding portal starting August 27 and the bidding round would continue till October 31.
The OALP was launched by Indian oil and gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan in June 2017. According to India’s oil and gas ministry, the OALP adopts all the features of Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (Help): reduced royalty rates; no oil cess (an extra tax); a uniform licensing system; marketing and pricing freedom; revenue-sharing model; and exploration rights on all retained area for the full contract life.
Last months the Indian government said it has signed revenue sharing contracts for 32 blocks awarded under OALP bid round-2 and round-3. Following the contract signing of 55 blocks under OALP bid round-I, the government launched OALP bid round-2 on January 7, 2019 offering 14 blocks. The third round was launched in February this year.