India offering 26 oil, gas blocks and 16 coal bed methane blocks in latest bid

With the world’s third largest oil consumer seeks to boost local output, the government is offering 26 oil and gas blocks and 16 coal bed methane blocks in its latest exploration licensing round.

“There is an unprecedented interest in Indian exploration and production by global oil companies,” Union oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted on Tuesday after a roadshow in Houston in the United States.

Being the world’s third biggest oil importer, India also ships in about 84% of its oil needs from overseas and wants to quickly monetize its oil and gas reserves to cut its import bill.

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According to a notice posted on the website of upstream regulator the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, the 26 blocks – 15 ultra deep-water blocks, 8 shallow water and 3 onland blocks – cover an area of ​​223,000 square kilometers (86,101 sq. miles).

So far, India has seen a tepid response from major global energy players in its oil and gas licensing rounds.

Earlier, the Union oil minister met executives from Exxon Mobil, oilfield service provider Baker Hughes, and with liquefied natural gas producers after launching a bidding round for offshore oil and gas exploration areas.

India is interested in the US companies’ technical expertise in offshore production, ethanol and sulfur recovery in oil refineries, Reuters quoted Puri as saying.

With Reuters inputs.

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