New Delhi: The government plans to launch the auction of 60 oil and gas fields being offered in the second round of bidding for Discovered Small Field (DSF) on 9 August, regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons said. DSF-II was supposed to be launched around mid-June, but it was deferred. The 60 discoveries have been clubbed into 26 contract areas spread over 3,100 sq km spread over eight sedimentary basins, it said.
The fields are being offered in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kutch and Cambay shallow waters, Mumbai offshore, Assam and Tripura, Mahanadi shallow water, Andhra Pradesh onland and KG offshore.
DGH said the main features of DSF-II include a single license for conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon, prior technical experience not a pre-qualification criterion, no upfront signature bonus and full pricing and marketing freedom. “Royalty rates further reduced as compared to DSF-I," it added without elaborating.
The fields on offer hold an estimated 1.4 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas. The government had in 2016 brought a new DSF policy, offering “idle" small discovered fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) in an auction on liberalised terms including marketing and pricing freedom and lower taxes.
The Union Cabinet had in February approved the second round of DSF auctions, under which the government is offering a total of 60 discovered small fields with an estimated 194.65 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MMtoe). These discoveries have been clubbed into 26 contract areas spread over 8 sedimentary basins. Of the 60 fields which will be up for auctions, 22 fields belong to ONGC, five to OIL and 12 are relinquished discovered fields from the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP) blocks.
In DSF-I launched in May 2016, 46 contract areas consisting of 67 discovered fields spread across nine sedimentary basins were auctioned. The auctions attracted 134 e-bids for 34 contact areas of the 46 offered. Later, 22 companies were shortlisted for 31 contract areas of which 15 companies were new entrants with no prior experience in the sector.
As many as 21 fields which did not receive any investor interest in DSF-I will also be part of the second DSF round. Post the February decision of the Cabinet, an Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS) comprising of Secretary (Petroleum & Natural Gas), Secretary (Expenditure) and Law Secretary have finalised and approved Model Revenue Sharing Contract, Notice Inviting Offer (NIO) and other documents for DSF Round-II.
To expedite award, the Cabinet had authorised minister of petroleum and natural gas, and minister of finance to approve of the winners based on the recommendations of the ECS.