Free Press Journal

Small oil & gas field auction deadline extended


New Delhi :  The government has postponed by three weeks the last date for bidding for auction of 46 small oil and gas fields that were given up by state-owned ONGC and Oil India.

“Last date of bid submission extended till November 21, 2016, 1200 hours IST,” the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) said on the website of the ‘Discovered Small Field Bid Round 2016’. Bidding for the auction, the first in over four years, was to earlier close on October 31.

 While potential bidders had sought more data on the fields on offer to make informed decision on bidding, an official said the date was extended as bids were closing during the Diwali holiday. Industry sources said there were apprehensions about the response after prospective bidders complained about the quality and amount of data being made available on the fields that have been put on offer. For bidders to make decisions, more data particularly about size of reserves are required and making that available will require extending the deadline, they said.

DGH Director General Atanu Chakraborty in a presentation on the bid round said 67 discovered fields are being offered under 46 contract areas. Of these, 26 are onland, 18 shallow water and 2 deepwater fields. The fields hold an in place reserves of 48 million tonnes of oil (17.85 mt in onland blocks and 30.19 mt on offshore blocks) and over 38 billion cubic metres of gas reserves (7.20 bcm in onland blocks and 31.18 bcm in offshore areas).

 “Many of the blocks offered are located in the vicinity of the existing operating fields of ONGC/OIL enabling possibility of use of existing facilities by successful bidders,” he said in the presentation. The auction is to be conducted on simpler contractual terms together with pricing and marketing freedom. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India (OIL) “surrendered” these as they could not develop them because of huge overhead cost and uneconomic size. The last exploration licensing round concluded in March 2012.