Government Offers 70 Oil and Gas Exploration Blocks

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Apr. 10 – In order to attract increased revenues into long term investments and reduce the burden of importing 75 percent of its annual crude oil requirements, the Indian government is stepping up oil and gas exploration to boost production.

The Indian government is offering 70 oil and gas exploration blocks under the eighth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (Nelp-VIII). Bids will be accepted from both domestic and international investors until August 10th. Petroleum secretary RS Pandey told the Economic Times, “We have offered 24 deepwater blocks, 28 shallow water blocks and 18 on land blocks under Nelp-VIII”.

Reliance Industries limited, recently commenced gas production from the D6 block in the Krishna-Godavari basin, located off the eastern coast in the Bay of Bengal. Production from the block is expected to reach a peak level of 80 million metric standard cubic meters a day (mmscmd) of gas by 2010 from an initial production of 10 mmscmd. A majority of the gas will be sold to fertilizer and power generation companies. India is expected to save US$ 9 billion in oil import bill annually with the beginning of this production.

The 18 on land blocks are based in the states of Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and West Bengal, amongst the 24 deepwater blocks one is in the KG Basin while the others are around the Andaman Islands.