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The Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan addressing at the contracts signing ceremony of OALP Bid Round-IV, in New Delhi on January 02, 2020. The Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dr. M.M. Kutty and other dignitaries are also seen.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas signs Contracts for 7 Blocks Awarded under Open Acreage Licensing Programme

Newdelhi:2/1/20:Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas today here signed contracts for 7 blocks, awarded under Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Round – IV. The Government had launched OALP Bid Round – IV on 27th August 2019. The Bid Round-IV offered 7 blocks  under International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process. The bidding round closed on 31st October, 2019. Subsequent to evaluation, all 7 blocks were approved for award to ONGC, for which the Revenue Sharing Contracts have been signed today, in the presence of the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. The total area awarded today in the 7 Onland blocks is 18,510 sq.km.. The blocks are spread across 3 sedimentary basins.

 Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pradhan highlighted the success of OALP Bid Rounds under the ambit of Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) introduced in the year 2016, primarily characterized by Revenue Sharing Mechanism replacing the earlier New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP) which had Production Sharing Mechanism. He said, “In the last two and a half years, Government has successfully bid out nearly 1.4 lakh sq. km for exploration and production. Seven  blocks awarded today under OALP IV to ONGC have resource potential of approx. 33 billion bbls of oil and oil equivalent gas.”

Speaking about reforms in the hydrocarbon sector, Shri Pradhan said, “We have shifted our focus from revenue to production maximisation and have adopted the path of continuous reform.” He said, “Technology infusion in E& P activities has seen tremendous progress in recent times. Our oil and gas companies are adopting digitisation, new technologies for augmenting production and growth.” Speaking about investments in energy sector, he added, “Energy sector will witness huge investments in coming years. Government has recently released the report of the task force on National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019-25 which lays down a roadmap for 102 lakh crore rupees worth of investments. Energy sector will comprise about 24% of the projected capital expenditure in infrastructure. “

The four OALP Bid Rounds, conducted till date have been a success, with total of 94 blocks awarded covering an area of 1,36,790 Sq. Km to leading E&P companies. The operators of these blocks have since then initiated petroleum exploration activities or are in final stages of obtaining Petroleum Exploration Licenses (PELs).


With the successful roll out of the HELP/OALP regime, based on the world-class National Data Repository (NDR), the Government has achieved massive enhancement of exploration acreage in India. The exploration acreage which stood at approximately 80,000 sq. km. in 2019 from earlier regimes has now been enhanced to approx. 2,15,000 sq. km. after 4 rounds of OALP. The cumulative exploratory work commitment after the 4 rounds of OALP comprise 29,270 LKM of 2D Seismic Survey, 43,272 sq. km of 3D Seismic Survey, 369 Exploratory Wells and 290 Core Analysis to establish Shale Resources. This will generate an investment of approx. US$ 2.35 billion over next 3 to 4 years in exploratory work alone.

The 5th cycle of submitting Expressions of Interest (EoIs) closed on 30th November 2019 and currently the 6th cycle of EoI is open till March 31, 2020.

Details of Blocks awarded in OALP-IV

Company Bocks awarded Category Description (Type/basin/state) Area of award (sq Km)
ONGC Limited (All 7 blocks) RJ-ONHP-2019/1 Category-I Onland/Rajasthan/Rajasthan 2,118.83
VN-ONHP-2019/1 Category-II Onland/Vindhyan/ MP 2,730.73
VN-ONHP-2019/2 Category-II Onland/Vindhyan/ MP 3,077.65
VN-ONHP-2019/3 Category-II Onland/Vindhyan/ MP 3,097.17
VN-ONHP-2019/4 Category-II Onland/Vindhyan/ MP 2,932.74
VN-ONHP-2019/5 Category-II Onland/Vindhyan/ MP 1,421.66


Category-III Onland/Bengal Purnea/West Bengal 3,130.91
Total 18,509.698

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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