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India Launches $14B Oil, Gas Bid Round

India has launched the second round of bidding for small discovered fields, estimated to contain as much as US$14 billion (1 trillion Indian rupees) worth of oil and gas reserves.

The Indian government has launched the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) Bid Round-II, offering 25 contract areas for international competitive bidding. The 25 contract areas contain a total of 59 oil and gas fields in this second round under the DSF policy, following a first competitive round in 2016.

The government has set the deadline for filing of the bids for December 18, 2018.

The signing of contracts with the successful bidders for the 59 discovered small oil and gas fields in the 25 contract areas is likely to take place in January next year, the Indian Ministry of Petroleum said.

Encouraged by the success of the first such round of competitive bidding for small discovered fields, India hopes to attract “massive interest” from the oil and gas industry, especially from private operators, because the government is offering larger field areas in already-producing basins, Indian Minister of Petroleum, Dharmendra Pradhan, said, commenting on the launch of the bid round.

India aims to raise its domestic oil and gas production and possibly cut its massive crude oil import bill as its oil demand is expected to continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Currently, Indian imports around 80 percent of the crude oil it consumes.

Related: Saudi Crackdown On Canada Could Backfire

The second discovered small fields bid round doesn’t require previous technical experience for bidders, allows for easy entry of investors as well as investor-friendly policy, according to India’s petroleum ministry.

There will be a single license issued for all types of oil and gas resources that operators want to pursue in the areas they will have won. Other incentives include no signature bonuses, full pricing and marketing freedom, and reduced royalty rates for shallow water reserves compared to the first DSF-I bid round.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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