Govt offers 8 blocks for production of hydrocarbons under OLAP bid


The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) has offered 8 blocks spread over 0.42 lakh sq km for exploration and production (E&P) of hydrocarbons under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) bid round IX.

“The government of India has opened 99 per cent of the “No-Go” area of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for hydrocarbon exploration and development. Eight blocks encompassing an acreage of 0.42 lakh sq km have been carved out based on expressions of interest (EoIs) received from potential investors during the EoI window XIII (April 1 to July 31, 2022),” the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) said.

Of the eight blocks, three are in the Cauvery basin, two each in Saurashtra and Assam Shelf and one in the Cambay basin. While 6 blocks are spread over Category-I basins, the other two are in Category-II.

Category–I basins are those which have proven hydrocarbon resources with established commercial production, while Category–II have contingent resources that are yet to be converted to recoverable reserves and commercial production. Category–III basins have prospective resources with no hydrocarbon discovery and few exploration inputs and data.

In the ninth OLAP round, three blocks each are in ultra deep-water (27,154 sq km) and onland (3,666 sq km), while another two blocks are in shallow water (11,039 sq km.).

The notice inviting offer (NIO) for these blocks will be floated shortly for international competitive bidding.

On blocks under finalisation, the DGH said “Around 20 additional EoIs received (August 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023) covering about 95,000 sq km in east coast basins like Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi and West Coast Basins like Saurashtra, Kutch, Mumbai etc. Are under finalisation.”


In March 2016, the government introduced OALP as a part of the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP).

The DGH facilitates investors in proposing, through a suo motu Expression of Interest (EoI), blocks of their choice for contracting based on the data available in the National Data Repository (NDR).

The applications for suo moto EoI can be filed for Revenue Sharing Contract (RSC) which permits exploration, development and production operations in any of the onland (including CBM), shallow water, deep water and ultra deep water block for all types of hydrocarbons.

Besides, companies selected through competitive bidding would enter into contract with the government as per the Model Revenue Sharing Contract (MRSC) published before the competitive bidding. Such model contracts will be based on the principles of HELP.


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