CBM de-linked from NELP

Vol 13, PW 24 (20 May 10) News in Brief

Anyone interested in CBM take note: the oil ministry plans to separate future NELP and CBM licensing rounds, which are typically clubbed together.

“There will be no CBM round with the next NELP round,” confirms a ministry source. “The coal ministry has no CBM blocks to offer at present.

” Usually, the coal ministry gives those areas for CBM rounds where no coal mining is likely to happen in the immediate future. But of late the coal ministry has not indicated any new CBM areas that could become available.

As such, the oil ministry believes it is premature to speculate about when the next CBM round will be launched. For some, talk of the next CBM round is premature when contracts have yet to be signed for the last round, CBM-IV, still mired in controversy.

On April 14, the Empowered Committee of Secretaries overturned the provisional award of seven CBM blocks to Deep Industries and controversially offered them to second-ranked bidders Essar, Arrow and Great Eastern.