76 bids for 36 blocks under NELP-VIII
The govt’s efforts in enhancing the country’s energy security received a strong boost as received 76 bids for 36 blocks out of 70 blocks offered under NELP-VIII and 26 bids for 8 blocks out of 10 blocks offered under CBM-IV by the bid closing date (October 12, 2009).
The Government of India launched the eighth bid round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VIII) and fourth bid round of Coal Bed Methane Policy (CBM-IV) on 9th April, 2009. The Government had offered the highest number of exploration blocks ever i.e., 70 blocks covering a sedimentary area of about 1,63,535 Sq. Km.
The offered blocks include – 24 deepwater blocks, 28 shallow water blocks, 8 onland blocks and 10 Type-S blocks. Government had also offered 10 blocks under CBM-IV covering an areas of about 5,000 sq. km. spread over seven states namely, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
In respect of 16 deep water blocks, 15 shallow water blocks and 3 on-land blocks, no bids were received. A total of 62 companies comprising of 10 foreign companies and 52 Indian companies have bid either on their own or as a part of consortia.
The Government’s desire to enhance the number of players in the E&P sector has been achieved as is evident from the fact that 36 new companies have given bids either on their own or in consortium. In respect of 8 deep water blocks, single bids were received from ONGC ( 6 blocks), BG Consortium (1 block) and Cairn Energy India Ltd Consortium (1 block).
The Government had undertaken intensive promotional efforts to promote the blocks offered under NELP- VIII and CBM-IV. A special web site was created which had online availability of data, bid documents including terms and conditions for NELP-VIII and CBM-IV and other promotional material. Further, the Government held promotional road shows in Mumbai, Houston, Calgary, London, Perth and Brisbane.
Data centers were also opened at Noida, Houston, London, Perth and Calgary to facilitate companies to view data for NELP-VIII and CBM-IV blocks. Besides above promotional activities, an Investors’ Meet was also organized at Singapore.