RIL shows interest in NELP-IX auction

RIL shows interest in NELP-IX auction

Mumbai:Reliance Industries on Monday indicated that it may actively bid for oil and gas exploration blocks, including nine new areas, being auctioned by the government.

“We continue to evaluate all opportunities. We are enthusiastic about all our existing acreage. We look forward to adding to India’s energy security," RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani told reporters at the roadshow to promote the ninth round of auction under the new exploration and licensing policy (NELP).

The last date for bidding under this round is March 18, 2011.

Out of 34 blocks offered under NELP-IX, 19 blocks are new areas - 7 are in deep sea, 2 in shallow waters and 10 onland blocks. Rest 15 (1 in deep water, 5 in shallow water and 9 onland blocks) are recycled blocks.

Of the recycled blocks, five are discards of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), the largest bidder in the previous eight rounds of NELP.

“Personally, I have great confidence in offshore oil and gas exploration in India. All NELP rounds have been a success and I am sure NELP-IX will be an equal success," Ambani said at the event, where oil secretary S Sundareshan said the government may offers shale gas blocks for exploration by end-2011.

RIL has been actively investing in shale gas assets in the US, where it has acquired three shale assets including a 40 % stake in Atlas Energy’s Marcellus acreage in April.

The company had, among others, won the prolific D-6 block in Krishna Godavari basin in previous NELP rounds.