New Delhi: The government may this week award at least 33 out of the 36 oil and gas blocks bid in the 8th round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (Nelp), more than half of which will go to state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and partners.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to consider awarding exploration areas bid for in Nelp-VIII at its meeting on 19 March,” an official said.
Of the 70 blocks offered in Nelp-VIII, only 36 attracted bids with ONGC and partners bidding for a maximum of 25. The state-owned firm and its partner won 17 areas.
“Bids for two onland blocks were not responsive enough and so they are being scrapped. Also, there are networth issues with one of the bidders in another block and the CCEA will have to take a call if the block can be awarded or should be scrapped,” he said.
Of the 24 deep water blocks that the government had put on offer, only 8 received bids, all of which were single bids. ONGC and partners bagged seven, while Cairn Energy Plc of UK was the winner of the other such block.
Of the 28 shallow water blocks on offer, 13 received bids. BHP Billiton Petroleum won three, while ONGC got five of these as lead partner and one where Oil India was the operator.
“Cairn Energy got a KG basin offshore block,” he said.
Of the 18 onland blocks on offer, bids were received for 15, four of which went to ONGC. Other winners include Jubilant, Oil India, NTPC and Esveegee Steel.