The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today rejected the bids by Ishar Gasoil Pvt Ltd for three oil and gas blocks under the ninth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-IX) due to negative net worth.
The decision was taken after considering the submissions made by Ishar, the view of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) and the recommendations of the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS), an official press release said.
Since there is no other bidder for one of the blocks, GV-ONN-2012/1, it will not be awarded at all, the meeting decided.
Of the remaining two blocks, RJ-ONN-2010/1, has been awarded to the consortium of GAIL (India) Ltd. Bharat Petro Resources Limited (BPRL), BF Infrastructure Limited (BFIL) and Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited (MIEL), the second qualifying bidder.
The third block, CB-ONN-2010/2, has been awarded to the consortium of Deep Energy LLC (DEL), Deep Natural Resources Limited (DNRL) and Safal WSB Energy Private Limited (SWEPL), the release said.
The ninth bid round of NELP was launched on October 15, 2010 with 34 blocks covering an area of about 88,807 sq kms on offer. They included eight deepwater blocks, seven shallow water blocks and 19 onland blocks.
Bids were opened by the DGH on March 28, 2011. A total of 74 bids were received for 33 blocks from national oil companies and private/foreign companies for 33 exploration blocks (8 deepwater blocks, 6 shallow water blocks and 19 onland blocks). No bid was received for one exploration block in shallow water.
The 74 bids received for 33 blocks were evaluated by DGH as per the Notice Inviting Offers (NIO) / Bid Evaluation Criteria (BEC).
The CCEA at its meeting held on March 23, 2012 approved the award of 16 blocks and rejected bids for 11 blocks. Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) were signed for 13 blocks on March 28, 2012.
Three blocks were awarded to Sankalp Oil and Natural Resources Ltd. Sankalp Oil and Natural Resources Ltd signed PSC on June 27, 2012 for one block CB-ONN-2010/10 only and declined to sign PSCs for two blocks CB-ONN-2010/8 and CB-ONN-2010/9.
The CCEA in its meeting held in August 2012 approved the award of five blocks. Out of five awarded blocks, PSCs were signed for four blocks on August 30, 2012 and one PSC was signed on September 10, 2012.
"The decision will accelerate exploration and production activities in the country and is expected to result in hydro-carbon reserve accretion, thereby, increasing the energy security of the country," the release added.