Govt eyes $14 bln investment in exploration round

Govt eyes $14 bln investment in exploration round

New Delhi: Government expects investments of $14 billion in its ninth licensing round for 34 exploration blocks, oil minister Murli Deora said on Friday.

Government is offering the oil and gas blocks in its latest exploration round which it launched on Friday. In its previous eight rounds of auctions, New Delhi has awarded 235 blocks.

There are eight deepwater blocks on offer, seven in shallow water and a further 19 blocks are onshore.

The blocks are being offered under India’s New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP) which was launched in 1999 to offer better terms for contractors in an effort to attract investment in the oil and gas sector of Asia’s third-largest oil consumer.

Foreign firms such as Cairn Energy and local companies such as Reliance and state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp have been active in prior auctions.

Cairn’s Indian assets are currently subject of a $10 billion bid for control from London-listed Vedanta Resources, the India-focused resources firm’s first move into the energy sector.