The latest round of auctions for oil and gas blocks has received a muted response. The ninth round of the so-called new exploration and licensing policy got just 74 bids. That’s for a total of 33 blocks on offer.
ONGC bid for 28 of the blocks, both individually and as part of consortiums, but it won just 12. RIL meanwhile bid for six and bagged two deep-water blocks.
Cairn India made two bids, but ended empty-handed.
All in all, round nine of the auction failed to bring in top global oil firms. Of the 34 blocks on offer, eight were deepwater ones. Another seven were shallow water blocks, and 19 were on land. Out of the 33 blocks, 15 were repeats from the previous round of auctions that had found no takers.
In related news, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons has said production is falling at RIL’s KG D6 gas block. It projected that production could fall to 47 million standard cubic metres a day from the current 52 mscmd. Stocks of RIL fell 0.26% on the BSE to 1023.40.
In other news, the Supreme Court has rapped the government over its investigation into businessman Hassan Ali Khan. On Monday it asked the Enforcement Directorate and the government why they were making no progress in the case. It also demanded to know why its national security implications were not being taken into account. The court added that agencies like the RAW and the Intelligence Bureau ought to be involved in the probe. It concluded that the government should set up a special investigative team. Hassan Ali Khan is in judicial custody until 8 April. Authorities accuse him of siphoning off billions of dollars overseas.
And finally, markets have gone up for a fifth session in a row. On Monday the Sensex rose 127 points to wind up at 18,943. And the Nifty climbed 33 to close trade at 5,687.