Some companies interested in small discovered fields being auctioned by the oil ministry are keen to explore adjoining areas also but government officials say they can expand their exploration area subsequently with a competitive bid under the new licensing policy.
The government is seeking investors for 67 small oil and gas fields in an auction that is underway and allows participants until October 31 to place their bids. The government is hosting roadshows in India and key global financial centres such as London and Singapore to showcase the opportunity these fields offer and explain in greater details the nuances of the new policy governing these fields. Some of the potential investors have raised concern about the smaller size of the contract areas on offer and urged the government to consider offering a bigger area. “The area being offered is too small. That limits our opportunity,” said a top executive at an oil firm seriously considering a bid. The private sector executive has been involved in the country’s oil and gas sector for two decades and said the contract areas offered under previous bid rounds were in hundreds of square kilometres.