Agencies, New Delhi
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday launched the first bid round under Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP), for international competitive bidding here.
Altogether 55 oil and gas blocks, each carved out by prospective bidders in promising basins with an area of around 60,000 square metres have been put up for bidding under the programme. This is the largest offering of acreages the government has announced since 2010.
The bids will be closed on April 3, while blocks will be finally awarded by May. Mr Pradhan said now bidding will be twice a year. The financial bidding , the second stage of the first round of OAL is likely to begin next week.
The highlights of the round include a single licence for all forms of hydrocarbons and simplified revenue sharing model with marketing and pricing freedom. Pradhan added that at a time when the environment is investor friendly, the aim of the government is to bring maximum revenue to the exchequer.
Launching the bid, Mr Pradhan said the bidding process has proved the government’s principles of “More Transparency, More Reforms, Minimum Govt., and Maximum Governance”.
On the occasion, Mr Pradhan also launched two online platforms namely e-Bidding portal and Notice Inviting Offer (NIO). E-Bidding portal provides bidders to submit their bids online. Simultaneously, “DGH One Touch” mobile application was also launched which would act as a one stop solution for accessing information about Hydrocarbon Directorate.
Under Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP), a bidder intending to explore hydrocarbons like oil and gas, coal bed methane and gas hydrate, may apply to the Government seeking exploration of any new block, not already covered by exploration.
OALP was introduced vide a Cabinet decision of the Government in 2016, as part of the new fiscal regime in exploration sector called HELP or Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy, so as to enable a faster survey and coverage of the available geographical area which has potential for oil and gas discovery. India has a sedimentary area of 3.14 million square kilo meter comprising of 26 basins.