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Govt takes prudent vantage of increasing oil prices
Jan '08
While addressing the delegates at New Exploration Licensing Policy-VII (NELP) road show recently, Mr M S Srinivasan, Union Secretary for Petroleum and Natural Gas, stated that crude oil prices could touch US $150 per barrel.

Keeping the lucrative prospect in mind the Indian Government is emphasizing on expanding oil exploration and production. Initially in the first round of NELP, only 11 percent of the sedimentary basins were explored for oil and gas. However, in the ongoing second round, the percentage has increased to 44 and on the completion of 11th five year plan, the Government plans to further improve the figure to 85 perecent.

National and international oil companies are offered 57 oil and gas blocks under the present NELP, of which nine are in shallow waters, 19 in deep-sea and 29 on lands. Although, the Government is trying hard to propel big companies to venture for these blocks, bidding for these will be discontinued on April 11.

An added advantage this time is that the NELP-VII gives an opportunity to explore a range of blocks starting from very small onshore blocks to major deep-water blocks. In fact, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has plans to bid for nearly 40 of the 57 blocks.

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