Indian Government to Offer 24 Blocks Under NELP-IV

The Indian Government is planning to offer twenty-four exploration blocks for bidding this month under the fourth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy. The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons has carved out twenty-four blocks comprising onshore and offshore, including deep water blocks.

The deepwater blocks are on both the east and west coasts of India while the onshore blocks are in Tripura, Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

However, only one block, KG-MN-DWN-2002/1, is likely to be offered in deepwater Krishna Godavari basin, where a recent gas discovery was made by Reliance Industries.

Three deepwater blocks are likely to be offered in the Mahanadi basin while two deepwater blocks may be offered in the Cauvery basin. On the West Coast, six deepwater blocks would be offered in the Kerala-Konkan basin and one each in Gujarat Saurashtra and Mumbai Basins. The sole shallow water block PR-OSN-2002/1 is in the Cauvery-Palar basin.

The onshore blocks are in Assam-Arakan basin - Tripura (AA-ONN-2002/1), Manipur (AA-ONN-2002/2), Assam (AA-ONN-2002/3) and Nagaland (AA-ONN-2002/4); Gondwana - Madhya Pradesh (GN-ONN-2002/1) and Chattisgarh (GN-ONN-2002/2); Ganga Valley - Bihar (GN-ONN-2002/2); West Bengal (WB-ONN-2002/2); Cauvery - Tamil Nadu (CY-ONN-2002/1 and CY-ONN-2002/2); Cambay - Gujarat (CB-ONN-2002/1 to 5); Rajasthan (RJ-ONN-2002/1) and Ganga Valley - Uttar Pradesh (GV-ONN-2002/1).

The government has already awarded seventy exploration blocks under the previous three NELP rounds. A total investment of $1.05 billion has been committed in the three phases of exploration and production in the 23 blocks offered under NELP-III, the contracts for which were signed in February. Under NELP-I, of the $1.1 billion investment committed under NELP-I, $423 million have already been invested while of the $775 million committed in NELP-II, $111 million have been invested in exploration.