46 new blocks awarded for oil, gas exploration; 32 more in offing


The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has so far awarded 46 new blocks under the petroleum policy-2012 and it is in the process to grant 32 more to further accelerate oil and gas exploration activities in different parts of the country. “Under the petroleum policy 2012, 46 new blocks have already been awarded, while the clearance process has been initiated for award of 32 more exploration blocks to E&P Companies through a transparent bidding process,” official sources told APP.
Besides, they informed that the ministry had awarded 70 Supplemental Agreements (SAs) for conversion to Petroleum Concessions Agreements (PCAs), aimed at expediting oil and gas exploration activities in potential areas of the country. “As many as 70 SAs covering 94 leases have been executed, while remaining applications are also being reviewed and finalized on a fast track basis,” they added.
They said Petroleum Exploration and Production (E&P) Policy- 2012, as amended in July 2013, provided an incentive to existing licence/lease holders for the conversion. They said the agreements had been finalized in consultation with all stakeholders including from the Petroleum Sector as well as ministries of Finance and Law and Justice.
Answering a question, the sources said licences of all oil and gas companies failing to start exploration work as per their obligations would be revoked. The government, he said, had tightened the noose around non- performing E&P companies, having the licences, and revoked around 117 such permits recently.—APP

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