• India to formally sign oil and gas contracts with companies under new policy

    India’s oil ministry will today formally sign oil and gas extraction contracts with winning bidders under the recently concluded discovered small field (DSF) auctions, the first such bidding for exploration licenses held by India after a gap of six years.

    The auctions had witnessed 134 e-bids for 34 contact areas of the 46 offered. Later, 22 companies were shortlisted for 31 contract areas of which 15 companies were new entrants with no prior experience in the sector.

    Touted as an auction round that would replicate the shale gas revolution of the US, half of the fields went to new and lesser known entrants like engineering company Megha Engineering & Infrastructure, KEI-RSOS Petroleum, Enquest Drilling and Nippon Power and many more new players with no prior experience in the oil and gas sector.

    “The DSF auction round was very important for the country as it helped us gauge the high investment sentiment even at a time when investments in the exploration sector were at an all-time low globally. The government has successfully changed the negative sentiment that used to be attached with the sector earlier,” a senior official said overseeing the contract signing said.

    He added that the positive response from the investors, especially new players, has given the government the confident to go ahead with the second round of DSF bidding. “We also expect a healthy response from investors in the upcoming oil and gas auctions held under a revamped bidding mechanism called open acreage licensing policy,” he said.

    The oil ministry had launched DSF I in May 2016 under a new liberalized policy under which 46 contract areas consisting of 67 fields spread across nine sedimentary basins were auctioned. The ministry had pegged the indicative gross revenue over the economic life of these fields at Rs 46,400 crore.

    These fields, which hold in place reserves of 62 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas, can cumulatively produce a peak of around 15,000 barrels of oil per day and 2 million standard cubic meters per day of gas, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) said in a statement last month.

    The peak oil and gas output envisaged is about 2 per cent of India’s current oil and gas production Maurkice Pouncey Authentic Jersey

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