Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said that Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) is a market-friendly policy which is driving self-reliance in energy sector.
Speking at the signing of contracts for 11 oil and gas blocks offered under the OALP Bid Round-V, he noted that the successful roll-out of the HELP regime, followed by OALP Bid Rounds, has led to increase in exploration acreage in India. The exploration acreage which stood at about 80,000 square km. from earlier regimes now stands at approx 2,37,000 square km, post the award of blocks under OALP Round-V.
Calling it a transformative policy, the minister said that the OALP has removed red-tapism and brought in a quantum jump in the Exploration & Production sector.
Calling for moving away from business-as-usual approach and strive for exponential growth and speed, he asked the winners to bring in new technology and new business models, so as to expedite the production of oil and natural gas from these areas.
The minister offered all support to the OLAP winners in carrying out their activities by facilitating the relevant approvals from the Central ministries and also the state governments.
He wished to bring international players into activities.
Pradhan also suggested that an independent body should be set up for data gathering and data management so that all the bidders have access to the relevant information for making an informed investment decision.
A total of 11 blocks in 8 sedimentary basins covering a total acreage of 19,789.04 square km has been awarded under OALP Bid Round 5, with Rs 465 crore of immediate exploration work commitment. The ONGC has been awarded 7 blocks where 4 blocks went to the Oil India Ltd (OIL).