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Govt launches OALP round-6; 21 blocks on offer for investors

The Centre has launched round-6 of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) for international competitive bidding
Govt launches OALP round-6; 21 blocks on offer for investors
Govt launches OALP round-6; 21 blocks on offer for investors
  • A total of 21 blocks, with an area of approximately 35,346 square km are on offer for investors
  • It is expected that the OALP bid round-6 would generate immediate exploration work commitment of around USD 300-400 million

New Delhi: The Centre has launched round-6 of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) on Friday for international competitive bidding. A total of 21 blocks, with an area of approximately 35,346 square km are on offer for investors. “The bidders would be able to submit their bids through an online e-bidding portal starting August 6, 2021 and the deadline for bid submission is October 6, 2021 at 1200 hrs. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation, bidders are allowed to submit requisite bid documents electronically. Award of these blocks to winning bidders is expected by the end of November 2021,” an official statement released by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said.

The 21 blocks under OALP round-6 are spread across 11 sedimentary basins and include 15 onland blocks, four shallow water blocks and two ultra deep water block. Category wise, there are 12 blocks in category-I basins, 4 in category II basins and 5 in category-III basins.

US $300-400 million investment expected in OALP round-6

It is expected that the OALP bid round-6 would generate immediate exploration work commitment of around USD 300-400 million, said the statement. An area of 156,580 square km has already been awarded under past bid rounds (1 to 5). With the latest round of auctions, the total area for exploration will go to 1,91,926 square km under the HELP regime.

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Background

Under OALP, investors can carve out blocks of their choice outside of the ones that are already with some company or other. The areas identified are clubbed and offered for bidding twice a year. The company that identifies the area gets a 5-point advantage. In the previous auction regimes, areas were identified by the government and offered for bidding. 

Category-I basins are awarded to the company offering the highest share of revenue from oil and gas produced, Category II and III basins are offered to those who offer maximum exploration or investment commitment.

Category-I basins have established reserves and fields that are already producing while Category-II basins are ones that have contingent resources pending commercial production. Category-III basins are ones that have prospective resources awaiting discovery.

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