Twelve bids received for fifth round of Open Acreage Licensing Policy

In the latest bid round, about 19,800 sq km of area was offered for bidding

Oil exploration, ONGC, Open Acreage Licensing Policy, Oil India, Production of oil, Invenir Petrodyne, OALP, Vedanta, Shallow water blocks, Deep water blocks

The fifth round under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OLAP) has received 12 bids for 11 areas on offer. Of these, 10 of them have received single bids from the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India.

The government had offered 11 blocks for exploration and production of oil and gas in the fifth bid which closed on 30 June 2020. The 11 blocks on offer got a total of 12 bids -- seven bids by ONGC and four by Oil India. Invenire Petrodyne was the only private bidder.

So far, the government has awarded 94 blocks in four OALP bid rounds in the last two-and-a-half years. These 94 blocks cover an exploratory area of about 1,36,800 sq km over 16 Indian sedimentary basins.

In the latest bid round, about 19,800 sq km of area was offered for bidding, according to DGH.

OALP-IV was the first round on revamped terms approved in February 2019. Unlike previous rounds, where blocks were awarded to companies offering a maximum share of oil and gas to the government, blocks in little or unexplored Category-II and -III basins are now awarded to companies offering to do maximum exploration programme.

The 11 blocks under OALP-V are spread across eight sedimentary basins and include eight on land blocks (six in Category-I basin and one each in Category-II and -III basins), two shallow-water blocks (one each in Category-I and -II basins) and one ultra-deepwater block (Category-I basin).

An area of 1,36,800 sq km has already been awarded under OALP bid Round-I, -II, -III, and -IV. These OALP bid round-V blocks would add further 19,800 sq km. The overall exploration acreage of India will then increase to 2,36,600 sq km.

Of the 94 blocks awarded in the first four rounds of OALP, Vedanta has won the maximum at 51. Oil India has got 21 blocks and ONGC another 17.

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