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Nelp X round: 46 blocks on auction, RIL surrendered area included

Government on Sunday put on auction the gas discovery area it snatched from Reliance Industries in KG-D6 block and the field that Cairn India is seeking to regain around its Rajasthan block. The two areas are part of the 46 blocks that India unveiled for bidding in the 10th round of New Exploration Licensing Round (NELP). ‘We are today profiling 46 blocks but eventually 60 to 65 blocks will be offered after clearances are obtained,’ Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said launching NELP-X.

The blocks offered include some of the 9,000 sq km area in that Barmer block that Cairn had contractually relinquished, but is now seeking it back to connect the currently producing fields in the Rajasthan block. Also, the areas offered include most of the 6,198.88 square kilometres of KG-D6 block that the ministry took away from RIL. This area includes five discoveries — D4, D7, D8, D16 and D23— for which the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) had opined that RIL missed deadlines for submission of investment plans. While Cairn’s relinquished area contains no discoveries, the area taken off KG-D6 has five gas discoveries and they hold 0.805 trillion cubic feet of reserves, or about one-fourth of the restated reserves in the currently producing Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) fields, and are worth $10 billion at current imported cost of gas.
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