Millennium Post

Pradhan set to launch DSF-II bid round today

New Delhi: Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will on Thursday open the second round of bidding for discovered oil and gas fields with 26 areas on offer, an official statement said.

In the first round of bidding for Discovered Small Fields (DSF) last year, 134 bids were received for 34 blocks out of 46 on offer.

A total of 30 contracts were awarded to 20 companies, of which 13 were new entrants in the exploration and production sector, the statement said adding oil/gas from these fields is expected in 2019-20.

"Encouraged with the success of Round-I and looking at the massive interest from industry especially from the private sector, the government is now rolling out DSF bid Round-II which is offering larger field areas in commercially producing basins," it said.

The 60 discoveries clubbed into 26 contract areas spread over 3,100 sq km and eight sedimentary basins will be put on offer.

The fields are being offered in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kutch & Cambay shallow waters, Mumbai offshore, Assam and Tripura, Mahanadi shallow water, Andhra Pradesh onland and KG offshore.

The statement said the main features of DSF-II include a single licence for conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon, prior technical experience not a pre-qualification criterion, no upfront signature bonus and full pricing and marketing freedom.

"Royalty rates are further reduced for shallow water as compared to DSF-I," it added.

The government had in 2016 brought a new DSF policy, offering "idle" small discovered fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) in an auction on liberalised terms including marketing and pricing freedom and lower taxes.

The Union Cabinet in February approved the second round of DSF auctions, under which the government is offering a total of 60 DSFs with an estimated 194.65 million tonne of oil equivalent (MMtoe).

Of these 60 fields, 22 belong to ONGC, five to OIL and 12 are relinquished discovered fields from the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP) blocks.

In DSF-I, 46 contract areas consisting of 67 discovered fields spread across nine sedimentary basins were put on auction.

The auction attracted 134 e-bids for 34 contact areas of the 46 offered. Later, 22 companies were shortlisted for 31 contract areas of which 13 were new entrants with no prior experience in the sector.

As many as 21 fields which did not receive any investor interest in DSF-I will also be part of DSF-II bid.

Post the February decision of the Cabinet, an Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS) comprising Secretary (Petroleum & Natural Gas), Secretary (Expenditure) and Law Secretary have finalised and approved Model Revenue Sharing Contract, Notice Inviting Offer (NIO) and other documents for DSF-II.

To expedite the award, the Cabinet had authorised Minister of Petroleum and Minister of Finance to approve of the winners based on the recommendations of ECS.

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