Source: Economic Times; August 18, 2017

New Delhi: The government will seek global investor participation for its ongoing mega oil and gas auction during the international Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Offshore Europe conference to take place in Aberdeen, UK next month.

The four day-conference that will begin on 5 September will include technical sessions, conferences, workshops, exhibitions from industry players across the value chain of the oil and gas sector and include a special event by the Indian government on Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP), National Data Repository (NDR) and the latest investment opportunities in the Indian oil and gas sector.

“In order to showcase investment opportunities in upstream Oil & Gas sector in India and recent policy reforms – OALP, Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) and National Data Repository, the government is organising an event at SPE Offshore Europe-2017 at Aberdeen,” upstream regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) said in a notice today.

The SPE Offshore Europe Conference is expected to witness participation from oil and gas giants including Schlumberger Limited, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Wood Group, Petrobas, GE and leading E&P professionals from across the world.

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had called upon the global investor community to participate in India’s current oil and gas bidding round at the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) held in Istanbul, Turkey last month. The move by the government has the potential to attract investors in the auction which has already received over 45 Expression of Interest (EoI) in more than a month, according to DGH website. However, a senior executive close to the auction process said the government has received around 75 EOIs since the auctions were made live on 1 July.

The oil ministry is offering over 85 percent of the country’s 3.14 million square kilometres of hydrocarbon sedimentary area under the new bidding mechanism of OALP and a revamped exploration policy HELP. The new OALP bidding mechanism under HELP allows investors to bid for acreages throughout the year. The current auction under HELP follows the just-concluded Discovered Small Fields (DSF) bidding rounds under which 31 blocks were awarded to around two dozen mostly small-sized firms.