RIL may get 7 blocks under NELP-VI

Published on Nov 22, 2006 08:15 PM IST

Reliance is poised to bag atleast 7 out of 21 deepsea blocks under NELP-VI, as ONGC's poor track record goes no too well with the DGH.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

Reliance Industries Ltd is likely to win at least seven out of 21 deepsea NELP-VI blocks while state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has not found favour with Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) despite being the highest bidder in 12 exploration blocks.

DGH in its recommendation for award of blocks offered in the sixth round of auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) has opined against awarding 12 deepsea blocks to ONGC due to its "poor" track record, official sources said.

An Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS), comprising officials from the ministries of petroleum, finance and law, will consider on Thursday the DGH suggestions for NELP-VI awards.

The consortium of ONGC-GSPC-HPCL-GAIL was clear winner in 11 deepsea blocks while ONGC-Cairn India Ltd-Tata were ranked number one in a Kerala-Konkan basin block. But DGH was against award of the blocks to the consortium and recommended "award by negotiations to an international company."

RIL is the second highest bidder in most of these blocks.

Sources, however, said the oil ministry has opposed DGH recommendations on ONGC, saying if a company was qualified to bid and had bid the highest, it should be awarded the block.

Of the 21 deepsea block offered in the sixth round of auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), RIL had emerged clear winner in seven - two in Krishna Godavari basin and five in Mahanadi basin. Santos was recommended awardee for two North-East-Coast (NEC) blocks.

Of the six shallow water blocks, one each has been recommended for ONGC, Focus Energy, Cairn-ONGC-Tata and ONGC-BG while two blocks have been suggested for the consortia of GSPC-IOC-GAIL-HPCL-Petrogas.

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