A worker passes an oil drilling rig in an oilfield near Nizhnevartovsk, Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg  

Government To Auction 66 Oilfields Of ONGC And Oil India For Private Firms

India plans to auction 66 small oil and gas fields of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. and Oil India Ltd. as it tries to step up production to reduce the import bill of the world’s third-biggest consumer of fossil fuel.

“These small discovered fields will be auctioned for private companies,” newswire PTI reported quoting Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as saying.

Sixty-two fields of ONGC and four of Oil India will be auctioned, another government official told BloombergQuint. The process will be initiated in six months, the official said requesting anonymity.

This comes after the Cabinet in its meeting on Feb. 19 decided to revert to a two-decade-old system of awarding areas based on exploration work commitment rather than giving highest revenue share to the government. This will incentivise increased investment and output, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said in a statement. This will also open opportunities for private firms as national oil companies will be allowed to induct them through joint venture and bidding out small nomination fields, it said.

ONGC and Oil India contributed 62 percent and 10 percent of oil production in financial year 2017-18, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons said in a report titled ‘India’s Hydrocarbon Outlook 2017-18’.