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Open Acreage Licensing Programme Bid Round-II launched
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan on January 7, 2019 launched NIO and MRSC for Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Round-II.
In this bid round, 14 E&P blocks, with an area of approximately 30,000 sq. km., are being offered for bidding to the investor community under the investor friendly HELP regime. 10 blocks are based on Expressions of Interest submitted by the bidders, and 4 blocks have been carved out by the Government based on data received through the National Seismic Programme and the Resource Reassessment Study carried out by the Government.
According to Pradhan , the Government is working to increase energy production. For this purpose, IOR/EOR has been announced, production enhancement contract model is being worked out.
India is 3rdlargest energy consumer in the world and likely to have one of the fastest growing energy demand of the world in the coming years.
The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) replacing the erstwhile New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) was approved in March 2016 and the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) along with the National Data Repository (NDR) were launched in June 2017 as the key drivers to accelerate the Exploration and Production (E&P) activities in India. The programme envisages six monthly periodic bidding rounds starting from July 1, 2017.
The first bidding round under OALP (Bid Round I) was launched in January 2018 and closed in May 2018 and 55 blocks covering 59,282 sq. km.area were awarded in October 2018.The Government is also in advanced stages of finalizing the OALP Bid Round III with approximately 32,000 sq. km. of area and the bidding is expected to be launched within next few weeks.
With this successful roll out of the HELP/OALP regimes, together with the National Data Repository (NDR), the Government has achieved a massive addition to the exploration acreage of India. The acreage which stood at approximately 90,000 sq. km. in 2017 was increased to 150,000 sq. km. after OALP I and would touch 2,10,000 sq. km after OALP Round II and III bidding exercises by May 2019 and is expected to touch 300,000 sq. km. by the end of the year 2019, with another two rounds of bidding expected to be finalized (IV and V) in 2019.
The licensing programme under HELP which adopts the Revenue Sharing Model is a step towards improving the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the Indian Exploration and Production (E&P) sector. It comes with attractive fiscal terms like reduced royalty rates and no oil cess, marketing and pricing freedom, submission of Expression of Interests (EoIs) round the year, bid rounds commencing every six months and a single license to cover conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources.
With the launch of Notice Inviting Offer (NIO), bidders can study the data available in National Data Repository (NDR) and select blocks for the bidding.