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Murli Deora launches NELP-VI in Hydrocarbon sector

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) The Government today announced the launch of the sixth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VI), providing investment opportunity for Indian and global companies to invest in the hydrocarbon sector.

Under the policy, the Government has offered 55 blocks, comprising 24 deepwater blocks, six shallow water blocks and 25 onland blocks.

The Government also announced launch of the third round of Coal Bed Methane (CBM-III) under which ten blocks are being offered, located in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Jharkhand for exploration and production of CBM.

Launching the NELP (VI) and CBM-III here, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said the 55 blocks cover a sedimentary area of about 3.55 lakh sq km. Twenty five blocks fall in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Six shallow and 24 deep water blocks fall in Western, Eastern and Andaman offshore.

Highlighting the features of the sixth round of NELP, the Minister said that the bidding system has been made more sophisticated on the basis of inputs from stakeholders and to discourage speculative bidding on the basis of aggressive work programme, more emphasis has been placed on the fiscal parameters.

The Minister admitted that several sucessful bidders of the blocks in the previous rounds of NELP had failed in meeting the obligation as agreed by them at the time of signing Production Sharing Agreement.

Mr Deora said weightage has been given to the technical capability of the designated operator. The relinquishment norms have been simplified and the exploration programme divided into two rather than three phases.

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