Oil PSUs win more exploration blocks in IXth NELP round

State-run oil firms have won operating rights for nearly half of the 16 exploration blocks awarded under the ninth round of exploration licensing, in a bidding that failed to attract much overseas participation.

The government today also signed production sharing contracts (PSCs) for as many as 13 exploration blocks out of the total 16 blocks that were awarded under the ninth bid round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-IX).

Out of the 16 exploration blocks awarded to various companies, 14 are on-land blocks and 2 are shallow water blocks.

ONGC got operating rights for four blocks - one as the lone bidder and the other three as part of a group - while a consortium led by Oil India won two blocks. A Gail India-led consortium was awarded one onshore block in the Cambay basin.

A consortium of Deep Energy, a subsidiary of the US-based Deep Industries, and some other companies got operatorship of three onshore blocks.

Other companies awarded blocks in the latest NELP round are Sankalp Oil and Natural Resources (three blocks) and Focus Energy, Pratibha Oil and Natural Gas Pvt Ltd and Pan India Consultants & Frost International Ltd (one each).