Govt may ease oil, gas drilling targets for cos

Govt may ease oil, gas drilling targets for cos

Singapore: India may ease oil and gas drilling targets for companies such as Reliance Industries Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd after a rig shortage delayed exploration, the industry regulator said.

The measures will be decided early next month, V.K. Sibal, director general of hydrocarbons, said in an interview by telephone from India on Thursday. He declined to give details.

Increased exploration spending amid record crude-oil prices has kept the most advanced deep-water rigs operating near capacity for two years, according to publisher ODS-Petrodata in Houston.

Rentals for the rigs have tripled in the last five years to a record $600,000 (Rs2.36 crore) a day in October, according to Transocean Inc., the world’s largest offshore driller.

“Right now there are problems getting deep-water rigs," Sibal said. “We expect by 2013 rigs should not be a problem."

The government this month invited bids for 57 areas compared with 55 in an earlier round, Sibal said.