The bid round for 67 small discovered oil and gas fields across the country had been extended from october 31 to November 21 at the behest of investors and vendors, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday.
"We have extended the last date for submission of bids to November 21 at the request of investors and other stakeholders due to Dusshera and Diwali festival holidays," Pradhan told reporters on the margins of a road show here.
The petroleum ministry's technical arm, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons started the bidding process on July 15 to develop and monetise 67 discovered small fields across nine sedimentary regions in the country for extraction and exploration of oil and gas.
The fields are owned by the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL).
"The response to our road shows for the bids has been overwhelming, as about 500 firms participated in the interactive meetings we conducted the world over, including Mumbai, Guwahati, Houston (US), Calgary (Canada), Dubai, Singapore and London in the last three months," said Pradhan.
The online auction, being held under the new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy, has offered 46 contract areas consisting of the 67 fields, which are estimated to have 86 million tonne oil and gas reserves, with recoverable quantity of 30 million tonne on revenue sharing model.
Of the 67 onshore and offshore fields, 17 are located in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh (8), Tamil Nadu (2) and Krishna-Godavari offshore basins (7).
The remaining fields are in Assam (8), Arunachal Pradesh (1), Rajasthan (2), Madhya Pradesh (2), and Gujarat (5), Mumbai offshore and Kutch offshore.
"The bids are a part our thrust to increase domestic production of oil and gas and reduce the energy import dependence by 10 per cent by 2022 from about 80 per cent currently," added Pradhan.
Petroleum Secretary K.D. Tripathi briefed the participants, including exploration and production firms on the salient features of the bid round such as no up-front signature bonus, no mandatory work programme, freedom from pricing and marketing of oil and gas produced and other fiscal benefits, including no oil cess, custom duty exemption and graded royalty rates.
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