NOIDA, India – India’s Discovered Small Field Bid Round 2016 received 134 e-bids for 34 contract areas.
Offered for development were a total of 46 on- and offshore contract areas across nine sedimentary basins. The contract areas are said to contain 67 oil and gas fields originally discovered by national oil companies Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. and Oil India Ltd. The fields are estimated to hold a total of 625 MMbbl of oil and oil equivalent gas in-place and are spread over 1,500 sq km (579 sq mi) in onshore, shallow-water, and deepwater areas.
All 26 onshore contract areas received e-bids, while eight out of the 20 offshore contract areas received e-bids. Of a total of 134 e-bids, 14 were received for offshore contract areas. The offshore areas were located in the waters off Mumbai, Krishna Godavari, and Kutch.
Announced by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) in May, the submission of bids opened in July. MoPNG’s Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) received the bids.
“The bid round took place in a challenging global market environment when oil and gas prices have been volatile and investment in the exploration and production sector has seen substantial decline.
“Despite the above challenges, the response to DSF bid round has been very favorable and exceeded expectations of all experts. It has not only attracted the interest of the oil and gas companies but also attracted the interest of the first time investors in E&P sector,” the DGH said in a statement.
Most contract areas received one to two bids, with the exception of D18-DSF-2016 offshore Mumbai, which received five bids from Enquest Drilling; Hardy Exploration and Production; a consortium of Oilmax, Oil India Ltd., India Oil Corp. Ltd., and Hindustan Oil Exploration Co.; Sun Petrochemicals; and Bharat Petro Resources.
Bidding on other offshore contract areas were KEI-ROSS Petroleum & Energy Ltd., Invenire Energy, Adani Welspun Exploration, Adbhoot Estates, and Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.
According to the DGH, as many as 42 companies participated in the bid round, individually or as member of a consortium. The overwhelming majority of participating companies were private Indian companies with 32 e-bids submitted. Of the remaining 10, five foreign companies and five public sector undertakings or subsidiaries participated.
“The response to the DSF bid round has been overwhelming as compared to the last round of E&P auctions under the NELP [New Exploration Licensing Policy] regime in 2009-10, largely credited to the new policy reforms which have improved the ease of doing business by introducing a transparent and transparent regulatory framework.
“Despite smaller contract areas on offer in the DSF bid round, the response from private companies was overwhelming; around 37 private sector players submitted e-bids as against 27 private companies during the NELP-IX.
“Considering the fact that most of bidders were private players, response to on-land contract areas were much larger than that for offshore contract area,” the DGH said.