Pradhan holds auction road show in Europe’s oil capital Aberdeen

London, Sep 14 (IANS) On the final day of his road shows abroad to attract foreign investors to exploit India’s small oil and gas fields, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday visited Scotland’s Aberdeen, considered the oil capital of Europe.

“Visiting Aberdeen, Scotland on shore of North Sea; it’s known as Houston of UK since it hosts oil industry, producing Brent oil in North Sea,” Pradhan tweeted.

Pradhan was accompanied by the Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse on his visit.

“Met Mr Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Minister for Innovation & Energy;agreed to expand cooperation,esp in technology,” Pradhan said in a separate tweet.

“I’d like to take this opportunity of welcoming Minister Pradhan to Scotland and wish him a successful and fruitful visit,” the Scottish Minister said.

“Scotland is home to one of the most respected and experienced oil and gas sectors across the globe and recognised globally for its strengths in innovation, technology, skills and training. The current downturn is impacting on the sector but we are doing everything in our power to ensure it remains a key player in the long term,” Wheelhouse added.

On Wednesday, Pradhan also addressed an investors meeting on the upcoming auction of India’s 67 hydrocarbon discovered small fields (DSF)

“At Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen; RGU is hosting our meeting with investors for Discovered small field,” Pradhan said in another tweet.

“Addressed a gathering of investors & technology leaders in RGU; offered them prospects of investment in DSF bidding,” he said.

“Visited Drilling simulation centre in RGU; impressed to see such hi-tech facility in university used by global majors,” he added.

On Monday, Pradhan assured investors that the government will “proactively facilitate” their working in the Indian oil and gas sector.

He also inaugurated the physical data room here of the DSF Bid Round, and met British Energy Minister Greg Clark.

India’s Petroleum Ministry along with the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) has organised this series of interactive meet-cum-roadshows between September 9-14, earlier in Singapore and currently in Britain.

“During the meetings, Pradhan is expected to highlight the paradigm shift in the policy regime for the exploration and production sector in India and the improved investment environment for E&P (exploration and production) companies under the new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) which emphasises on improving the ease of doing business and operational autonomy to attract investment,” DGH had said in a statement.

Road shows were earlier held in July in the US and Canada, for the auction of India’s 67 hydrocarbon discovered small fields.

Bidding is open between July 15 and October 31.

The auction will be under the new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy approved in March, which is based on a revenue-sharing model as opposed to cost-and-output-based norms earlier.

Under the Discovered Small Field Policy, the government is offering for bids 67 discovered small fields in 46 contract areas spread over nine sedimentary basins on land and in shallow and deep water areas.

The offered fields hold 625 million barrels of oil and gas reserves.

Of the 46 small fields, 26 are on land, 18 offshore in shallow water and two in deep water.

While 28 discoveries are in Mumbai offshore, 14 others are in the east coast’s Krishna-Godavari basin.

Eventual operators will be issued a single licence for exploration of conventional and non-conventional hydrocarbons and will have the freedom to sell oil and gas at “arms length” market prices. There would be no cess on crude oil.

–IANS

bc/

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