• KPMG to advise Modi govt on first oil block auction

    The blocks have been classified into 46 cluster areas and will be bid out based on the recently announced revenue sharing model. Global accounting and consultancy firm KPMG has been chosen by the Modi government to advise on its first ever auction of oil and gas blocks set to kickstart next week. KPMG has been chosen from a group of consultancy firms based on an expression of interest floated by the upstream regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) for selection of a knowledge partner for the first round of discovered fields bidding to be launched by oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on 25 May.

    “KPMG has been selected by the government to manage the marginal fields bidding round. The scope of the work includes taking the blocks to the market and suggesting ways to attract investor interest during the international roadshows that will begin soon,” said an executive close to the development. He added the entire process will be run over the next three months. The government will auction 67 discovered fields that were earlier relinquished by state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India (OIL) amid a historic downturn in global crude oil prices. The marginal fields house more than 89 million ton of reserves worth over Rs 770 billion, according to the oil ministry.

    The blocks have been classified into 46 cluster areas and will be bid out based on the recently announced revenue sharing model as against the earlier controversial cost recovery regime. India conducted its ninth and last bidding round under the New Exploration Licensing Policy in 2012 awarding 256 blocks to exploration firms. Although the investment sentiment in the oil sector has been impacted by low crude oil prices, Vedanta-owned Cairn India Ltd, the private operator of India’s largest on-land oil and gas block in Rajasthan, said it would study the data of available blocks on offer for participation in the bid round.

    “We will evaluate data from the blocks being offered, to gain further understanding, for firming up our strategy for the same,” Cairn India Chief Executive Mayank Ashar told Business Standard. Of the 67 blocks on offer, 28 discoveries are in Mumbai offshore and 14 are in the Krishna Godavari basin off the Andhra coast. Also, 10 discoveries are located in the Assam shelf area, according to the oil ministry. Sean Rodriguez Jersey

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