IOC to be more aggressive in seventh round of NELP-VII

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Kolkata, Jan 6 (UNI) Public Sector Indian Oil Company (IOC) Ltd is looking forward to bidding for a higher number of blocks offered by the state government in the seventh round of auctions under the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP-VII).

Speaking on the sidelines of the interactive guest lecture session of the IIMC-Intaglio held here yesterday, IOC Chairman Sarthak Behuria said, ''We are going to bid solo for some small blocks offered by the government.

''The IOC had, till now, participated in the bidding in partnerships with the ONGC and Oil India. With changes in the Policy, we are expect to go in more confidently,'' Mr Behuria said, adding that the government had offered 57 blocks in the seventh round of auctions.

Answering a query on foreign partnerships in their oil exploration business, he said, ''We have an open mind and welcome any interested party. Our participation in the roadshow, through London, Singapore, Houston, Dubai and Perth, will show see some outcome in this respect.

''Besides some of the smaller blocks, we are holding talks with some of the private players like the ONGC, Oil India Ltd, GAIL and Reliance and will do so with some of the foreign companies for possible future partnerships with them,'' Mr Behuria said.

Speaking on oil bonds, Mr Behuria, without going into the details of the pressure faced by the oil companies from the government, said they had oil bonds worth Rs 12,000 crore, but were looking forward to selling as many as they could.

UNI LL DPM/src1143

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