New Delhi : Vedanta and state-owned ONGC were top bidders on Wednesday for 55 oil and gas blocks offered in India’s maiden open acreage auction that was shunned by domestic private and international energy majors.
Vedanta bid for all the 55 blocks while ONGC bid for 37 blocks either on its own or in consortium with other state-owned firms. State-owned Oil India (OIL) bid for 22 blocks in a similar fashion.
Vedanta was sole bidder for two blocks and had either ONGC or OIL as direct competitor in the remaining.
Except for the two blocks that received three bids each, all the other 53 had just two bidders.
Reliance Industries and its partner BP did not bid for a single area. Essar Oil and Russia’s Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy also abstained from the round.
No foreign company participated in the auction, a first since India began offering oil and gas area for exploration and production through bids in 1999.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had touted the maiden auction under the Open Acreage Licensing Polict (OALP) as game changer.
DGH said a total of 110 bids were received from a total of nine companies – five state-run and four private firms. Besides Vedanta’s oil unit, Cairn India, other private players bidding included Selan Exploration, HOEC and Sun Petro. Bidding in the auction of 55 exploration blocks on offer for prospecting of oil and gas under the OALP closed on Wednesday.
ONGC lines up Rs 17,615-cr investment
New Delhi: ONGC on Wednesday said it will invest Rs 17,615 crore in the current fiscal to drill a record 535 wells to augment oil and gas production.
The firm drilled 503 wells in 2017-18, the highest number in last 27 years. Of these, 119 were exploratory and 384 development wells. Oil and Natural Gas Corp said that in order to assess the prospectivity of existing acreages in a time-bound manner and add to the reserves, more focus was laid on exploratory drilling.
It had targeted to spend Rs 16,038 crore in the fiscal year ended March 31 to drill 496 wells including 110 exploratory and 386 development wells.
“However, the company has drilled 503 wells at a cost of approximately Rs 14,200 crore which is 11.5 per cent lower than the budget outlay. The initiatives taken by the company to optimize cost and enhance operational efficiencies has yielded additional savings in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018,” it said.
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