There were 55 blocks on offer and 110 e-bids received during the first round.
Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta got the highest number of blocks during the round.
“This clause was one of the major reasons why foreign companies stayed away from the OALP. If India is serious about bringing in foreign investors, it should remove such clauses. The government should understand this is a high-risk business and should also ensure good returns for investors,” said R S Sharma, former chairman and managing director of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
Even during the first round of bidding for discovered small fields (DSFs), only one foreign company — Dubai-based South Asia Consultancy FZE — showed an interest. The government has come up with the second round of DSFs, offering 26 contract areas — including 15 onshore and 11 shallow offshore.
“During this round, 60 discovered small fields are clubbed into 26 contract areas, giving larger fields on offer compared to the first round. The round is set to be opened in June and contracts are likely to be signed by November,” the official said.
During DSF-II, an area of 3,100 square km will be on offer with an estimated 195 million metric tonnes (MMT) of hydrocarbons in place.
The blocks awarded in the DSF-I round, which was launched in May 2016, expects a cumulative peak production of 15,000 barrels of oil per day and 2 mscmd (million standard cubic metres a day) of gas over the life of the fields awarded. The estimated revenue is a little over Rs 460 billion. After the nine rounds of the National Exploration Licensing Policy, at least 11 public sector undertakings, 58 private firms, and 48 foreign companies have a presence in India’s oil sector.