Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launches Open Acreage Licensing Programme Bid Round-VIII

Delhi, July 8

The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) was promulgated on 30 March 2016. Since then seven rounds of Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) have already been concluded and 134 Exploration & Production blocks awarded comprising 2,07,691 of area spread across 19 sedimentary basins.

In continuation of its zeal to accelerate of E&P activities, the Government has now launched the OALP Bid Round-VIII, offering 10 blocks, for International Competitive Bidding on July 7, 2022. The bids can be submitted through a dedicated online e-bidding portal till 1200 hrs. September 6, 2022. Successful award of Round-VIII Blocks would add a further 36,316 sq. km of Exploration Acreage and cumulative exploration acreage under OALP regime will be increased to 2,44,007 sq. km.

The Ten blocks under present bid round are spread across 9 Sedimentary Basins and include two Onland blocks, four shallow Water blocks, two Deep Water Blocks and two Ultra-Deep Water blocks. It is expected that OALP Round VIII would generate immediate exploration work commitment of around USD 600-700 million.

The Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP), which adopts the Revenue Sharing Contract model, is a giant step towards improving the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the Indian Exploration and Production (E&P) sector. It comes with attractive and liberal terms like reduced royalty rates, no Oil cess, no revenue share bidding for blocks in Category-II and III Basins, marketing and pricing freedom, round the year bidding, freedom to investors for carving out blocks of their interest, a single license to cover both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources, exploration permission during the entire contract period, and an easy, transparent and swift bidding and awarding process.

The XIIIth Window for submission of Expression of Interest (EoI) is currently open till July 31, 2022.

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