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The Government of India is expecting hydrocarbon exploration area to double to 300,000 sq km by 2020. While the first round of licensing under OALP has already increased the exploration area to 150,000 sq km last year, the second and third rounds are expected to double this figure. An official from DGH revealed that the access to seismic data has enabled the government to offer new acreages to companies.
The Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) bid round-II, launching on Monday, will see 14 blocks go on offer. The second round of auction has been delayed for months now. The Government of India launched OALP in 2017 in an attempt to increase domestic output and curb imports. The 14 blocks going for auction are expected to possess 12,609 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas.
According to bid information available with DGH, Vedanta-owned Cairn India will attract a penalty of $0.1 million if it fails to fulfil exploration commitment for the 41 oil blocks won under OALP. Award of blocks were based on the commitment to explore and drill for oil and gas, and government’s share in the hydrocarbons produced. DGH gave equal weightage to both these parameters.
In a recent briefing, Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal said that they are seeking consortia of US oilfield service companies to aid the development of 41 blocks in India. Accompanied by Cairn Chief Executive, Mr Agarwal met with executives from 70 services companies in Houston this week. The meeting aimed at encouraging the firms to establish a consortium to compete for contracts. Cairn won 41 of the 55 blocks auctioned in OALP.
In a bid to increase its reserve base, Vedanta Limited is planning to invest $2.3 billion towards CAPEX on its oil and gas activities. Vedanta is targeting an increase in production from the current 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 300,000 boepd over the next few years. Under the OALP auction, Vedanta recently bid for all 55 blocks on offer in the first round.