Welcome move to usher in 'open acreage licensing'

Vol 17, PW 3 (05 Sep 13) People & Policy

Schlumberger and Halliburton are two of several companies expected to bid in a revived DGH tender to build a National Data Repository (NDR) ahead of the introduction of an open acreage licensing regime.

DGH officials invited bids on August 23 to build, populate and operate the NDR - an electronic library of oil and gas data housed on two floors at the DGH office in Noida outside Delhi. “Only six or seven companies globally can build a NDR,” says a DGH source.

Schlumberger has already helped GSPC develop its E&P database. “Six months are needed to build the repository and one year to collect data,” adds the DGH.

“We have some data but the rest will be collected from operators. I think the NDR can be operational by 2015; then we can launch the Open Acreage Licensing Policy.

” OALP allows companies greater flexibility to choose when to bid and for what. Contrast that with the current NELP system where blocks are carved out and offered periodically during inefficient and almost always delayed licencing rounds.

An NDR is a pre-requisite for any move to an OALP system. A pre-bid for the NDR tender is scheduled for September 10 in Delhi.

"Only at the pre-bid will we know who has bought tender documents and is interested," we hear. October 15 is for bids which are opened the same day.