New Delhi: State-run ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) has won all the seven oil blocks that were awarded under OALP (Open Acreage Licensing Programme) bid round 4. The revenue-sharing contracts for the seven blocks was signed between ONGC and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on Thursday. The OALP round 4 had the lowest number of blocks on offer — seven. And it also received a tepid response from the oil sector as none of the private companies turned up to bid for the oil blocks.
The OALP round 4 had received bids from only two state-run companies — ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL). ONGC was the only bidder for five blocks in Madhya Pradesh and one in West Bengal. It was competing against OIL for one block in Rajasthan. However, after the evaluation process, all the seven blocks were awarded to ONGC.
The total area awarded in the seven onland blocks is 18,510 square km. The blocks are spread across three sedimentary basins. The bid round opened on August 27, 2019 and closed on October 31, 2019. Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, "These 7 blocks are adding exploration acreage of 18,510 square kilometres spread over three sedimentary basins of India and have a resource potential of approximately 33 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas."
"With the culmination of Bid Round-IV today (Thursday), we have awarded 94 blocks under the exploration policy in a very short time span of two-and-a-half years. These 94 blocks cover an exploratory area of approximately 1,36,800 sq km over 16 sedimentary basins," Pradhan said. "Investors of the 94 blocks have committed 29,270 line kilometers of 2D seismic survey and 43,272 sq km of 3D seismic survey, 369 numbers of exploratory wells, 290 core analysis to establish shale resources. This will generate investment to the tune of $2.35 billion (about Rs 16,450 crore) over the next three-four years in the exploratory activities alone," the minister added. In the first three rounds of OALP, about 1,18,000 square km area was awarded, he said, adding that the area awarded for exploration was about 90,000 square km under exploration prior to OALP.