India has approved the award of operating licences for 31 small oil and gas fields, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters on Wednesday.
State-owned refiners BPCL, HPCL and IOC alongside a company floated by directors of drugmaker Sun Pharmaceuticals were on Wednesday declared as winners of the much-hyped small oil and gas field discovery auction.
The world's third-biggest oil consumer had received bids for 34 of 46 oil and gas fields that were auctioned in May in India's push to tap its energy resources.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved award of 31 fields out of the 34 that had received bids.
Bharat PetroResources Ltd, a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), won as many as four of the fields while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s subsidiary Prize Petroleum and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) walked away with three each.
Sun Petrochemicals Pvt, a privately-owned company formed by the directors of Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd, won the B-37 Cluster in Mumbai offshore, for which it was the sole bidder. It had bid for 6 out of the 46 fields that were auctioned last year.
At the close of the bids on November 21 last year, 34 areas were sought for, with 14 getting single bids.
The fields were taken away from state explorers Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL).CCEA on Wednesdday “gave its approval to award contract in 31 contract areas”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the Cabinet meeting.
All the 14 fields that received single bids were awarded.Of the fields on offer, all the 26 onland areas had received bids, although 9 had only single bidders. Of the 20 offshore blocks on offer, only 8 received bids, 5 of which were single company offers.