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Cairn India picks up two blocks in India's NELP-VI round

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Feb. 9 -- Cairn India Ltd. has won interests in two exploration blocks in India under the government's sixth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VI), which offered 55 exploration and production blocks.

Cairn Energy India Pty. Ltd., with a 10% stake, will be operator of Block PR-OSN-2004/1 in the Palar basin, which covers 9,400 sq km. The other partners are: Cairn India Ltd. 25%, India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. 35%, and Tata Petrodyne 30%.

Block KK-DWN-2004/1 in the Kerala Konkan basin spans 12,324 sq km. ONGC will be the operator with a 45% stake and will work with partners Cairn India Ltd. 40% and Tata Petrodyne 15%.

Rahul Dhir, Cairn India chief executive, said, "The wider petroleum industry is now looking keenly at India as a result of the significant discoveries made in recent years by a number of companies including Cairn. The significant industry interest substantiates our belief that India is an extremely attractive place to look for oil and gas."

The number of blocks offered in this latest lease round was the highest ever offered under the NELP process. India received 165 bids for the 52 blocks. Twenty new entrants to the licensing round filed applications.

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