DGH prepares to launch fresh NDR tender

Vol 16, PW 8 (01 Nov 12) People & Policy

Picture this.

Instead of enduring the mind-numbing NELP bidding process, you access an online electronic library at your leisure, review lots of juicy seismic data, then bid for blocks of any size or shape. It could happen sooner than you think.

By December 15, the DGH is expected to revive a stalled tender to hire a consultant to set up a National Data Repository (NDR), as preparations to replace NELP with an Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) gather pace. “We are going through the fine print in the tender documents,” confirms a DGH source.

OALP, he explains, will create an “investor driven bidding process” rather than the present “government driven process.” The DGH’s proposed year-round data repository will hold historical G&G data for E&P companies to inspect.

India’s entire landmass will be divided into a grid with 600 zones, each covering one-degree latitude by one-degree longitude or 12,100-sq km. “Zones will extend to the international boundary on land and to the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) offshore,” we hear.

Zones will further sub-divide into 36 sectors, each measuring 340-sq km. “A sector will constitute the basic unit for bidding,” we are told.

Still to be defined is what happens when a sector straddles a state boundary or what price to sell data and how long to keep it available. Membership and registration costs for the data repository are likewise yet to be fixed.

Once set up, companies can freely submit EoIs for blocks they carve out themselves. On receipt of an EoI for a block, the DGH will formally invite other companies interested in the area to send in bids within 60 days.

Bids will be evaluated using similar criteria to NELP.