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Business Times (Malaysia): Company eyes India’s oil, gas blocks

Published: Jul 27, 2006

NATIONAL oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is interested to bid for oil and gas blocks offered under India’s sixth New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VI).

The company is among several local and foreign oil and gas companies, including notable global firms such as Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP plc, Total, ENI and Petrobras, which had either bought or requisitioned data on the blocks offered.

“We have managed to collect US$12.49 million (RM46.09 million) from the sale of data and US$1.59 million (RM5.86 million) for the requisition of the data,” an industry source told Business Times.

However, the source has no information on the blocks that the companies, including Petronas, are interested in.

Apart from Petronas, other companies which have bought or requisitioned data for the blocks include Gujarat State Petroleum Corp, Cairn Energy, BHP Billiton, Anadarko, Roc Oil, Oil India Ltd, EOG Resources, Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas, Oil and Natural Gas Corp, BG, Niko resources, Beach Petroleum, Shell Exploration and Production, ChevronTexaco and Tullow Oil.

Others which have shown interest are Santos International, Premier Oil, Indian Oil Corp, RIL, Europa Oil, Petrobras, HOEC, Terralliance, Singapore Petroleum Corp, Oilex and Hardy.

In its first attempt to secure oil and gas exploration licence in India last year, Petronas submitted bids for two deeepwater blocks of the 20 blocks offered under the NELP-V.

The national oil company, through its subsidiary Petronas Carigali, together with BG Exploration and Production of India, bid for the Krishna-Godvari deepwater block off the eastern coast of the country.

Petronas Carigali also made a bid for the Mahanadi deepwater block but the company and the other foreign companies left empty-handed.

Under NELP-VI, 55 exploration blocks are made available for bidding, with an initial total investment of US$5 billion (RM18.45 billion). Of the 55 blocks offered, 24 are involved in deepwater explorations, six in shallow water and onshore 25.

Submission of the proposals will be closed on September 15 where the bidders and winners of the blocks will be announced concurrently. The signing of the contracts is expected to be held in January next year.

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