Vedanta wins 41 oil blocks, Oil India nine in OALP auction

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New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Natural resources major Vedanta Ltd has won 41 of the 55 oil and gas exploration blocks offered through auction under the government’s new open acreage licensing policy (OALP), the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) said on Tuesday.

State-run Oil India (OIL) won nine blocks and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) bagged two blocks, as per the list released by the petroleum regulator on the auction’s round one in May.

Two other state-run gas utility GAIL and Bharat Petroleum Corporation won one block each, private sector Hindustan Oil Exploration Company bagged one block.

State-run explorer ONGC had bid for 37 oil and gas blocks, while Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta placed bids for all 55 areas on offer in the first auction of oil and gas acreage under the OALP.

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The Petroleum Ministry had said that 110 bids were received for 55 blocks spread over around 60,000 sq km.

The OALP, under the new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), allows the investor to carve out blocks of their choice and submit an Expression of Interest (Eol) throughout the year.

Under HELP, the competitive bidding will be continuous and blocks awarded twice a year.

HELP replaced nine earlier rounds held under the New Exploration Licensing Policy wherein the government carved out areas for bidding.

The main features of HELP are revenue-sharing contracts, as opposed to previous profit- sharing model, single licence for both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources exploration and marketing and pricing freedom.

–IANS

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