NEW DELHI: Little-known private companies have won 13 of 23 licenses to develop discovered small oil fields in the second round of auction. ONGC, Oil India, Indian Oil, Vedanta and Hindustan Oil Exploration won the remaining fields.
The Empowered Committee of Secretaries and Group of Ministers on Friday approved the award of 23 contract areas to highest bidders, according to an official statement.
ONGC won five in the auction that offered 25 contracts areas comprising 59 discovered small oil and gas fields. Oil India won two contract areas. One contract area received no bid, and a decision on another was held back due to litigation.
All these fields were originally discovered by ONGC and Oil India but lay undeveloped for years as they were seen as economically unviable. The government took these fields away from state companies in recent years, and offered them to private and public players under a new policy that provided increased incentives to developers.
Vedanta, which won 41 blocks last year in an exploration licensing round, has won two contract areas in this auction. A joint venture of Indian Oil and Hindustan Oil got one.
Ganges Geo Resources led the pack of little-known private players with five successful bids. Two contract areas went to Arch Softwares. A consortium of Shanti G.D. Ispat and Power, Bagadiya Brothers, and Shanno Business India also won two. Arsh Corporate Services, Invenire Energy, Keerthi Industries and Gem Petro E&P have won one contract area each.
“Government endeavors to execute these contracts at the earliest so that the awardee can commence production to expedite the monetization of the hydrocarbon production from these fields,” an official statement said. Of the 14 winning companies, eight are new entrants to the exploration and production Sector, the statement said.