ALSO READCabinet clears IOC, OIL, BPCL's Russian stake buy for $3.14 billion IOC, BPCL, HPCL sign deal to set up India's biggest oil refinery CCEA to award oil blocks by mid-December BSE Oil & Gas index hit 9-year high; Indian Oil touches new high Reliance Industries, BPCL, Indian Oil hit 52-week highs
State-owned oil firms IOC, BPCL and HPCL have cornered a third of the 31 small discovered oil and gas fields awarded in the first auction in more than six years. Touted as an auction round that would replicate the shale gas revolution of the US, half of the fields went to new and lesser known entrants like engineering company Megha Engineering & Infrastructure, KEI-RSOS Petroleum, Enquest Drilling and Nippon Power. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs yesterday approved award of 31 fields out of 34 that received bids in the auction that closed on November 21. These fields, which hold in place reserves of 62 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas, can cumulatively produce a peak of around 15,000 barrels of oil per day and 2 million standard cubic meters per day of gas, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) said in a statement. The peak oil and gas output envisaged is about two per cent of India's current oil and gas production. "It has been estimated that the indicative gross revenue over economic life would be approximately Rs 46,400 crore of which royalty collection and government's revenue share is expected to be around Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 9,300 crore, respectively," it said. Development of these small oil and gas fields is crucial in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's target of reducing oil imports by 10 per cent by 2022. Akhil Teja Natural Resources Ltd, which was incorporated just three days prior to close of the bidding, had bid for the most number of 17 fields. But it drew a blank with the CCEA not even accepting its solo bid for three onland blocks, according to analysis of list of awardees approved by CCEA. Bharat PetroResources Ltd, a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), won the most number of 5 fields. It had put in a bid for eight. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) bagged three fields, the same number as new entrant PFH Oil and Gas Pvt Ltd got. Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd's upstream arm, Prize Petroleum won two fields on its own and one in consortium with Hindustan Oil Exploration Co (HOEC) and Oil India Ltd. HOEC, which had in all bid for eight fields, won another field in consortium with newcomer Adbhoot Estates Pvt Ltd. Nippon Power Ltd two out of the eight fields it had bid for.
OilMax Energy Pvt Ltd too won two fields. South Asia Consultancy, which on its website shows its office being located in Ahmedabad, is the only "foreign" company to have won a field - the South Patan field in Gujarat that was most contested, receiving 10 bids. Upstream regulator DGH listed South Asia Consultancy as a foreign in its list of block awardees. Sun Petrochemicals Pvt Ltd, a privately owned company formed by the directors of drugmaker Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd, won one block. In all 46 fields, which were taken away from state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL), were put on bidding 34 of them received bids. At the close of the bids on November 21 last year, 34 areas were sought for, with 14 getting single bids. All the 26 on land areas had received bids, although 9 had only single bidders, including three from Bengaluru-based Akhil Teja Natural Resources Ltd. Of the 20 offshore blocks on offer, only 8 received bids, 5 of which were single company offers. Cairn India, which bid for two fields, returned empty handed. Hardy Exploration of the UK too was unsuccessful in its bid for one field. Adani Welspun won one field. The 46 fields offered in the bid round were made up of 67 oil and gas discoveries "surrendered" by the state-owned ONGC and Oil India Ltd on finding them commercially unviable to develop under price control regime. ONGC as also Reliance Industries did not bid in the round. "It is expected that in-place locked hydrocarbons volume of 40 million tonnes oil and 22 billion cubic metres of gas will be monetised over 15 years. The production from these contract areas will supplement the domestic production," an official statement issued after the CCEA meeting yesterday had said.