Cabinet approves award of two oil exploration blocks

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 10:40 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) The government Thursday approved the award of two oil blocks for exploration under the ninth round of the new exploration licensing policy (NELP-IX).

The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) at a meeting here approved awarding of block RJ-ONN-2010/1 to a consortium of GAIL India, Bharat Petro Resources (BPRL), BF Infrastructure (BFIL) and Monnet Ispat & Energy (MIEL).

It also cleared another block, CB-ONN-2010/2, to a consortium of Deep Energy (DEL), Deep Natural Resources (DNRL) and Safal WSB Energy (SWEPL).

The cabinet, however, rejected an exploration bid by Ishar Gasoil for three blocks (RJ-ONN-2010/1, GV-ONN-2012/1 and CB-ONN-2010/2) due to negative net worth of the company.

"Since there is no other bidder for the block (GV-ONN-2012/1), this block will not be awarded at all," said an official statement.

The CCEA took the decisions after examining the views of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and recommendations of the Empowered Committee of Secretaries.

It said approval for the two blocks would accelerate exploration and production activities and result in hydro-carbon reserve accretion, and increasing energy security of the country.

Major Indian and international hydrocarbon players like BHP, ONGC, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petro Resources had participated in the NELP-IX.

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.

Till now the government has signed 18 production-sharing contracts (PSCs) for various exploration blocks.

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