India to hard-sell exploration blocks: Deora

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Bangalore, Feb 8 (UNI) India will be 'hard-selling' its hydrocarbon potential by offering 57 exploration blocks covering 1.71 lakh sq km of sedimentary basin area, Union Petroleum and Natural Gases Minister Murli Deora said today.

Speaking at the Consultative Committee meeting of the members of Parliament for Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas here, he said the seventh round under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) launched in December last, had held roadshows in London, Houston and Calgary last month and the next would be in Singapore and Perth.

The country offered 29 on-land blocks, 19 deepwater and nine shallow-water blocks.

''The objective of these road shows is to showcase India's remarkable achievements under the NELP in the last seven years and to hard-sell country's hydrocarbon potential as an attractive destination for global capital and technology.'' He told the oil companies in no uncertain terms that supply and prices of LPG and kerosene will be the 'key policy' of the government. ''LPG and kerosene is next only to food that impact the life of common man. Managing supplies and prices will be a key policy.'' The minister said the UPA Government was committed to ensure high economic growth as shown by Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

''Sustainability of growth with low inflation and inclusive nature of growth, letting the 'aam admi' share the benefits of high economic growth will be the Government's priority,'' he said.

However, he said the sustenance of growth faced 'difficult challenges' posed by rising world oil prices. India's dependence on imported crude may go up from the present 75 per cent to 90 per cent in the next two decades.

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