India offers oil, gas, CBM in special upstream round

  • Market: Crude oil, Natural gas
  • 28/05/24

India is seeking bids through a special upstream bidding round for two discovered small oil and gas fields located in the Mumbai offshore region and one coal-bed methane (CBM) gas field in West Bengal.

The notice inviting the bids will be launched on 28 May with submission of bids to close on 15 July, said India's upstream regulator the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DHG). Details about potential reserves were not provided and are likely to be in the follow-up notice.

Discovered Small Fields bid rounds were launched in 2016 to boost domestic crude and gas production and reduce the country's dependency on imports. Since then 67 oil and gas fields were offered in the first round in 2016 with in-place locked hydrocarbons reserves of 40mn t of oil (293mn bl) and 22bn m³ of gas. A second round in 2018 saw 59 fields reoffered with around 189mn t of oil and oil equivalent gas. The third round in 2021 offered 75 fields with a total resource potential of around 230mn t of oil equivalent.

India has also announced the ninth bidding round for 28 upstream oil and gas blocks in the ninth Open Acreage Licensing Programme. The deadline to submit bids was initially due by 29 February but was then extended to 15 May and again to 15 July. Of the 28 blocks offered, nine are onshore blocks, eight shallow-water blocks and 11 ultra-deepwater blocks across eight sedimentary basins with an area of 136,596.45 km². The DHG "carved out" five of these blocks, while the remaining 23 blocks are based on expressions of interest received from companies during the April 2022-March 2023 fiscal year.

India's crude and condensate production was 589,000 b/d in 2023-24, up by 0.5pc from the previous year, according to oil ministry data. Its dependence on crude imports rose to around 88pc in 2023-24 from 87pc the previous year.


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