CCEA approves award of 44 blocks under NELP-VII

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved the recommendations of Empowered Committee of Secretaries for the award of 44 blocks under NELP-VII to the first ranked and sole bidder, with a directive that the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) be signed within a month.

"Total investment commitment for Phase-I of the exploration for these 44 blocks is about 1.5 billion dollars,'' Mr Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, told mediapersons after the meeting of the CCEA.

The CCEA also agreed with the recommendations of the Empowered Committee that in view of the lowest score in the composite criteria for evaluation, accepting the bid by the sole bidder 'Cairn Energy India Ltd -- Cairn India Ltd (CEIL-CIL)' consortium' in respect of Mumbai Basin deepwater block MB-DWN-2005/8 would be detrimental to the government's interest in future in terms of profit petroleum and, therefore, not to award block MB-DWN-2005/8 to CEIL-CIL.

''It is expected that the award of the blocks will result in more discoveries, further investments in development of oil fields leading to higher reserves accretion and eventually, production of oil and gas,'' he said.

In keeping with the recommendations of the Empowered Committee, the CCEA authorised the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to incorporate suitable provisions with legal vetting by the Department of Legal Affairs (DLA) in the award letter as well as in the PSCs for the following blocks: -- All nine Type-S blocks and five Mumbai Basin Type-A Deepwater blocks such as MB-DWN-2005/2,4,5,7, and 9.

-- All 44 blocks: the clarification issued by the Petroleum Ministry on June 27, 2008 regarding tax holiday on commercial production of natural gas be inserted as Appendix-I in PSCs.

UNI SBA MP AS1452

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