The government will on Monday sign contracts for the 31 small discovered oil and gas fields it had auctioned in the first bid round in more than six years.
State-owned oil firms IOC, BPCL and HPCL had cornered a third of the fields whose award was confirmed by the Cabinet last month. "Contracts with successful bidders will be signed on March 27," a senior official said.
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 had 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 last month. The peak oil and gas output envisaged is about 2 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 464 billion of which royalty collection and government's revenue share is expected to be around Rs 50 billion and Rs 93 billion, respectively," it had 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 new comer 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.
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. Of these, 14 were single bids. All the 26 onland 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.