Govt gets 181 bids under NELP VII, contracts to be signed by Sept 30

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New Delhi, Jun 30 (UNI) The government today said it has received 181 bids for the exploration blocks offered under the seventh round of New Exploration Licencing Policy (NELP) that will fetch an investment of about three billion dollars.

''We have got 181 bids for 45 blocks under NELP VII, against 165 bids received for 52 blocks in the last round of NELP VI,'' Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dinsha Patel said while addressing the mediapersons here.

Out of the 57 blocks offered in the NELP VII, the highest number of blocks offered so far under NELP, seven deep water blocks, two shallow water blocks and three onland blocks have not received any bid, Mr Patel said.

A total of 96 companies, including 21 foreign and 75 domestic companies have bid either on their own or as consortia, the Minister informed.

Commenting on the small blocks, he said 42 new players have bid for the nine S-type blocks either on their own or in consortium.

In the deep water blocks, British oil major BP and BHP Billiton have bid in consortium with the Indian companies such as Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd and GVK respectively. Other bidders for deepwater include country's flagship oil explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Cairn and GSPC.

Mr Patel said the evaluation of the bids will be undertaken and the blocks are expected to be awarded by August 31 this year. The process would take just about two months from bid receipt to the award of contracts and the contracts are expected to be signed by September 30.

UNI SBA PDT RAI1835

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