India unveils new blocks for oil exploration, An analysis

New Delhi (India), October 22: In order to decrease the rising burden of oil imports, India recently opened up bidding for 26 blocks for oil exploration in India. ​India currently imports 85 per cent of country’s oil requirements, and plans to reduce its dependence on imported crude oil by at least 10 percent in the coming years. ​​​

Under the HELP policy, the government has re-modeled the hydrocarbon licensing policies to make E&P investment commercially attractive with incentives like no category- basis revenue sharing.

India recently launched a sizable offering for oil and gas exploration, with most of the blocks on offer lying offshore and in deeper waters. The government awarded another 31 contracts for oil and gas developments last month through the DSF-3 competitive bidding round, in what was the country’s largest-ever offering of areas with known oil and gas accumulations.​

India has tried to carry out several biddings for oil exploration in the past decade, however, it has failed to attract the big international energy companies, despite lucrative incentives. India wants to attract companies from Western nations who can bring in technical capabilities to get the most out of domestic offshore assets.

Global oil exploration companies are also eager to gain a foothold in India, where fuel demand is expected to keep rising with the country’s economic growth. India’s oil consumption or demand is expected to rise to almost 3.3 billion barrels annually by 2040 from about 1.6 billion barrels this year 2022.​​

Recently, in its largest offshore rig exploration exercise in recent years, ONGC has floated a tender for 12 jack-up rigs with some relaxations in liquidity damages clauses. But, as per some experts, these kind of relaxations may provide an edge to international players in comparison to local offshore players.

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