Govt defers oil, gas field auction by a month


New Delhi, Jun 24: The government has deferred the bidding for 60 oil and gas fields being offered in the second round of bidding for Discovered Small Field (DSF) by a month.
DSF-II was supposed to be launched around mid-June, but it won’t happen before July, a senior government official said. He, however, did not give a reason for delaying the bid round.
The government had in 2016 brought a new DSF policy, offering “idle” small discovered fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) in an auction on liberalised terms including marketing and pricing freedom and lower taxes.
The Union Cabinet had in February approved the second round of DSF auctions, under which the government is offering a total of 60 discovered small fields with an estimated 194.65 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MMtoe). These discoveries have been clubbed into 26 contract areas spread over 8 sedimentary basins, he said. “DSF-II will be launched soon.”
Features of DSF-II include a single licence for conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon and prior technical experience not being a pre-qualification criterion.
Also, there is no payment of upfront signature bonus payment, and fields would be awarded to the bidder agreeing to pay the highest share of oil and gas produced from the fields.
Besides, full marketing and pricing freedom has been guaranteed and royalty rates have been cut, he said.
Of the 60 fields which will be up for auctions, 22 fields belong to ONGC, five to OIL and 12 are relinquished discovered fields from the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP) blocks.