Union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas T R Baalu said that bids from private sector for exploration and production would be invited later after the exploration licensing policy was formalised.
Meanwhile, the national oil company is seeking overseas technology to revive aged wells at Bombay Offshore.
The corporation may import technology to revive the aged wells to increase crude oil production, he said.
However, he ruled out any private sector participation to revive the wells to improve crude output.
Answering a query on the enquiry into awarding of the Ratna R-series to Essar, Baalu said, It is not uncommon to review the projects cleared by the previous government.
He refused to disclose whether the government was reviewing any other projects awarded by the previous government.
While addressing the Chemtech Triple Expo96, the minister said the major focus in the oil sector would be to establish prospects of unexplored areas through a national seismic programme, exploration of frontier areas, besides deep-water exploration beyond 200 meter depth.
R K Narang, chairman and managing director, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), in his welcome address said the unprecedented growth in the demand of petroleum sector should be addressed immediately.
Besides creating additional refining capacities, the governments thrust should be on developing infrastructure relating to import of crude and petroleum products.
Additional port facilities like tank farms, crude and product pipelines should be developed, he added.
P Ramakrishnan, executive president, Grasim Industries, said government should put forth several options to attract private sector in exploration and production.
He indicated that the awarding of contract should be expedited and professionalised.