Ministry not keen on ONGC and OIL India bidding for discovered small fields

Dharmendra Pradhan
The ministry of petroleum and natural gas is not keen on state-owned ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) and Oil India bidding for discovered small fields which are currently being offered by the government for development. The date for filing of bids has been extended from October 31 to November 21.

The government has introduced “discovered small fields bid round 2016” under the broad Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy, which offers 46 contract areas consisting of 67 fields across nine sedimentary for extraction of oil and gas. These were put on bid after state-owned ONGC and Oil India gave up the fields.

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), an arm of the petroleum and natural gas ministry, estimates that the fields hold in-place reserves of 86 million tonnes, with estimated recoverable reserves of roughly 30 million tonnes, based on revenue-sharing contract model.

"By the end of the year, the fields will be handed over to those that win the contract," said Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas.

He said that ONGC and Oil India will not be taking part in this round of bids. “These are too small fields for them. They are looking at bigger investments. ONGC is looking at investment worth $5 billion," said Pradhan when asked if ONGC and Oil India would be eligible to participate in the bidding round.

The Minister was in Bengaluru as  part of his multi city  tour to communicate about the Discovered Small Fields Bid Round. He said there was a lot of interest from various investors in the bidding process.

Pradhan also inaugurated a new Research and Development center by HPCL on Friday and said that the ministry is looking at Bengaluru as the energy innovation capital of India. HPCL has invested Rs 400 crore in the new center that seven laboratories and will accommodate 80 scientist.

“Oil and gas needs two things now investments and innovation using technology. Bengaluru is the the hub for technology. There have been and continue to be a lot of R&D centers related to energy in Bengaluru. We are looking at Bengaluru as the energy innovation point of the ministry,” said Pradhan.  

Pradhan invited startups to enter the industry and come up with ways to monetize the industry further using technology. A $50-million fund has been set aside by the ministry for startups in the space.

“The fund has been set aside, what exactly has to be done will be based on what the startups decide. We would put in place what they want according to their requirements,” said Pradhan.

Pradhan said the ministry is also looking to work with the state government for gas based power generation. “A pilot has been done in 1000 households across Bengaluru. This will be a new chapter in Bengaluru economy and environment. It will be a dedicated gas based power economy. We will soon be launching it along with the Chief Ministers and union level ministers from the state, “ said Pradhan.

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