Indicating a lukewarm response from the industry, the government said on Monday that it had received 74 bids for the 34 oil and gas exploration blocks offered under its ninth round of the New Exploration Licencing Policy (NELP-IX).
It was the state-owned oil companies — ONGC and OIL that rescued the round of oil and gas exploration licence auctions; ONGC submitted bids for 28 out of the 34 blocks on offer under NELP-IX. Oil India Ltd (OIL) bid for 17 blocks.
State-owned GAIL and BPCL also submitted joint bids.From the private sector, oil and gas biggie, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) bid for six blocks, while Cairn India bid for two. Essar Oil bid for one onland block in the Cambay Basin.
However, there were no bids for one offshore block in Mumbai.
In all, 29 domestic and 8 foreign companies submitted bids in India's latest auction of oil and gas exploration blocks.
A total of 75 bids were received for 33 out of the 34 oil and gas blocks that included eight deepwater blocks, seven shallow water and 19 onshore properties.
The government had hired UK-based Fugro Data Solutions Ltd to market the auctioning of the NELP-IX blocks.
In the previous eight rounds of NELP since 1999, 235 blocks have been awarded for exploration till date.
Public sector giant ONGC won two-thirds of these.