India to Launch Next Oil Licensing Round in Early April

NEW DELHI (Dow Jones Newswires), Mar. 27, 2009

India will offer a further 75 oil and gas blocks in April when it launches the next round of auctions under the country's New Exploration Licensing Policy, Oil Secretary R.S. Pandey said Friday.

Around the same time, the government will also invite bids for exploration to extract gas from coal seams, known as coal-bed methane, from 10 blocks.

India, which imports about three quarters of its annual crude oil requirement, is stepping up exploration in order to raise local production to curb dependence on overseas shipments.

Last year, it awarded 44 oil and gas blocks to bidders in the seventh round of auctions under the New Exploration Licensing Policy.

India is aiming for coverage of 80% of its sedimentary basin by 2012.  

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