India to announce second exploration licensing round awards in December

India will launch the second round of crude oil exploration license awards under the New Exploration Licensing Policy in December. The authorities also are considering giving marketing rights to private and foreign companies if they are willing to invest more than $500 million in the oil exploration, refining, or infrastructure sectors.

Nov 1st, 2000


MUMBAI�India will launch the second round of crude oil exploration license awards under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) in December. The authorities also are considering giving marketing rights to private and foreign companies if they are willing to invest more than $500 million in the oil exploration, refining, or infrastructure sectors.

�Marketing rights for transport fuels, including gasoline, high-speed diesel, and aviation turbine fuel, will be permitted to companies who invest at least $500 million in these core sectors,� said Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik.

�We have already opened the upstream petroleum sector for private participation by both domestic and foreign companies earlier this year, following the signing of 22 contracts under the NELP.�

The country�s oil imports have already been deregulated, and marketing opened up for all products except transport fuels, subsidized LPG for cooking, and kerosine used for domestic purposes.

�Deregulation of the oil sector, including delicensing of the refining sector, decontrol of prices of all petroleum products, and rationalization of customs duties on petroleum will be done by 2002,� the minister said.

�Since we want to supplement the availability of natural gas through coal bed methane (CBM), we have approved a new policy for exploration and production of CBM with private sector participation.�

India has about 65 million cu m/day of gas available for sale, but its total demand has been placed at 115 million cu m/day. The gap would be bridged by large-scale imports of LNG, Naik said.

�The import of LNG has been placed on open general license, while we have permitted 100% foreign direct investment for the import of LNG, setting up of LNG terminals, and marketing and distribution of regasified LNG,� he added.

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