New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) The petroleum ministry aims to formally launch the 10th round of bidding under its New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) inside the current fiscal, Oil Minister M. Veerapppa Moily said Friday.
"Our idea is to go in for that (NELP launch) within the financial year," Moily told media persons here.
"Our target for finalising the note to be submitted to the cabinet is 15th February. It has to go to the cabinet by that date," the petroleum minister added.
The ministry had unveiled details of 46 oil and gas blocks to be offered at last week's Petrotech 2014 international oil and gas conference held on the outskirts of the capital.
Moily said that of the 86 blocks identified for the forthcoming tenth round of NELP, 46 had received clearances.
"Forty-six blocks have been cleared in all respects. No further clearances need to be taken," he said.
"I would like to ensure this time that before we provide the terms for bids all the blocks are cleared," he added.
The minister explained that in the earlier - ninth - round "blocks without proper clearance were put up for bidding, and thereafter they got into problems".
"Ultimately CCI (Cabinet Committee on Investments) had to take it up and the majority (of blocks) got cleared," he added.
The cabinet note for the tenth NELP will recommend revenue-sharing contracts with explorers in place of the current profit-sharing mechanism, officials said.
This bid to attract more investments into the exploration and production sector will have the largest offering of blocks since the start of NELP in 1999.
NELP-IX offered a total of 34 blocks covering an area of about 88,807 square km and comprising eight deepwater blocks, seven shallow water blocks and 19 onland blocks.
Major Indian and international hydrocarbon players like BHP, ONGC, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petro Resources had participated in NELP-IX.