The government expects investments of $14 billion (R61,600 crore) in its ninth licencing round for 34 exploration blocks, Oil Minister Murli Deora said on Friday.
The government is offering the oil and gas blocks in its latest round under the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP), launched on Friday.
The first roadshow for NELP-IX will be held in Mumbai on October 18.
There are eight deepwater blocks on offer, seven in shallow water and a further 19 blocks are onshore.
The NELP was launched in 1999 to offer better terms for contractors to attract investment in the domestic oil and gas sector. Since then, 235 blocks have been awarded till date. This has resulted in enhancement of exploration coverage from 11 per cent to about 58 per cent of the country’s sedimentary basin between 2000 and 2010.
“The discoveries made under the NELP have resulted in in-place hydrocarbon reserve accretion of a staggering 642 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas,” Deora said.
A total of 87 discoveries have been made in 26 blocks under NELP during this period.
Out of 81 oil and gas discoveries, natural gas production in Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL’s) Krishna-Godavari (KG)-D6 block commenced from April 2009.
The eighth round, which closed on October 12, 2009 attracted investments for 36 blocks that received offers. Under NELP-VIII, 70 areas or blocks for exploration were offered — the biggest licensing round in the country till date.