On a "war-footing" to meet the deadline

Vol 4, PW 21 (22 Nov 00) Exploration & Production

To avoid embarrassment, the Indian oil ministry and its executive arm, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, is on a "war footing" to ensure that "NELP-2000" does not drag into 2001.

Hence a determination to issue the 'Notice Inviting Offer' by 31st December. Roadshows are tentatively scheduled for the middle of January, subject to selection of a consultant, and the readiness of bidders.

Expect improvements in the quality of information provided. In the last round, the basin and data packages contained only hard copies of logs and other material.

This time the information dockets will contain basin information on a single floppy disc. Data packages for the assets will include several floppies, depending on the information available.

Acreage offered will contain a few former ONGC and Oil India licences, but mainly unexplored virgin territory. All eight deepwater blocks will be newly carved, unexplored, with little or no seismic available, bar a few 2D lines and well logs from ONGC, which has drilled no deepwater wells in Mumbai Offshore and only one in the Kerala Konkan.

We will see for the first time blocks from Gujarat auctioned under NELP. These blocks are located between two proven ONGC assets at Mehsana and Ahmedabad.

Old licences held by ONGC and Oil India "will include additional areas" to make them more attractive to bidders. If all this sounds too good to be true, that's probably because it is.

LNG Summit