Oil search policy revamp this year: Jaipal

The union government, keen to augment India's hydrocarbon resources, is preparing to launch yet another version of the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP) for auction of oil and gas blocks. This will be ready by the end of this year, petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy has said.

The issue has gained extra urgency after the relative failure of the Krishna-Godavari D6 gas block operated by Reliance Industries Ltd.

Reddy made it clear on Sunday at the Petrotech 2012 conference in New Delhi that the current exploration policy will be thoroughly revamped before another version of the NELP is launched.

The government is clearly stung by the lack of interest shown by investors in the current NELP, particularly by global explorers.  A committee headed by C Rangarajan, chief economic advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is expected to present a report on improving the mechanism soon, Reddy said.

The Rangarajan panel is expected to submit its recommendations to the government by 31 October.

''To improve the investment regime, we will put in a more investor-friendly system. There have been complaints. We will try to minimise them. After that we will go for the 10th NELP rounds'' Reddy told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.