No extension for March 31st NELP deadline

Vol 5, PW 3 (28 Mar 01) Exploration & Production
     

Don't expect the government to extend the March 31st deadline for submission of bids under round two of the New Exploration Licensing Policy.

Unsubstantiated rumours circulating in the Indian oil sector suggest the government will spring a surprise and extend the deadline because it fears a poor response. Contacted by Petrowatch, a senior source dismisses the rumour as untrue.

"During the last round a number of companies asked us to extend the deadline by a few months," he tells this report. "We accepted but were then surprised when they didn't bid! We don't want to be made to look like fools again." One fact is confirmed: by Thursday 22nd March, not a single company had written to the oil ministry asking for an extension to the deadline.

"If one of the big companies like Shell, BP or Exxon had written in with a request to extend the deadline for a couple of weeks because they needed more time to examine data, we would probably have considered it," he adds. "But so far no one has written in with a request to extend the deadline, and even if they did it would have to be an internationally recognised company for us to take the request seriously.

For now there's no justification in extending the deadline." Companies have until March 31st to view data in the Delhi office of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and to make a last minute purchase request. Houston and London data rooms are now closed.

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