In a bid to boost domestic oil and gas production, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG), Government of India today announced the commencement of the ‘Discovered Small Fields Bid Round-2016’ in New Delhi. Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas launched the new bidding round. The technical information portal and e-bidding portal were also launched.
Discovered Small Fields are oil and gas blocks which have so far remained commercially undeveloped, but are now in focus as the central government seeks to boost domestic hydrocarbon production. Under the announced ‘Discovered Small Fields Bid Round-2016’, 46 Contract Areas consisting of 67 different small fields are being offered to investors the world over, for exploration and production. Bids are being invited for developing and monetizing these contract areas having 625 Million Barrels of Oil and Oil Equivalent Gas (O+OEG) in-place volumes spread over 1500 square kilometers in Onland, Shallow water and Deepwater areas. Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), the technical arm of the Ministry, shall anchor the entire bidding process.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pradhan highlighted that India is now moving towards a new era of hydrocarbon production, driven by a forward looking Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP); and a new fiscal model based on Revenue Sharing Contract. This new phase is a move ahead from the earlier NELP; and Production Sharing Contract regime and addresses various industry concerns that led to slowdown in investment over the last few years.
Single license for exploring all forms of hydrocarbons, graded system of royalty rates, pricing and marketing freedom for crude oil and natural gas, were some of the highlights of HELP mentioned by the Minister. He said that the Government is following principles of Enhancing Production, Attracting Investment, Generating Employment, Transparency, and Minimizing administrative discretion. Shri Pradhan said that a simpler and transparent administrative and fiscal system has been crated. Calling upon all industry stakeholders to participate in the bid rounds and be a part of new energy revolution in India, the Minister assured all support in endeavors.
Some of the other prominent and industry friendly features of the bidding round are:
- Single license to extract and exploit conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon fields
- New fiscal regime based on revenue sharing model
- Operational autonomy and flexibility for unit development in case of reservoirs extending beyond contract area or for joint development of common infrastructure
- Exemption of Oil Cess and Custom duty
- Full freedom for marketing and pricing for production from the awarded contract areas
- Royalty in line with earlier New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP)
- Technical capability is not a pre-qualification criteria for bidding
- Exploration allowed during entire contract period (20 years), which is mutually extendable for up to 10 years
- No restriction on exploration activity during the contract period
- Information Docket to be made available at e-bidding gateway
- Physical Data Centers with Interpretation Facility would be set up in India and various others international locations where prospective bidders can access data
- User-friendly e-bidding Portal and interactive video for easy navigation to be made available to bidders.
- Discovered fields to be offered with no upfront signature bonus
Roadshows would be held at different parts of the country and international venues to attract maximum interest of prospective bidders for the ‘Discovered Small Fields Bid Round-2016’, and to encourage industry players to participate in the bid process.