Government receives record 181 bids for hydocarbon exploration

June 30th, 2008 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The government received 181 bids from 96 companies for exploration in 45 blocks of hydrocarbon assets, it announced Monday. Of the 57 blocks put on auction Monday, 26 received multiple bids and 19 received single bids. Twelve blocks did not receive any bid.

This was the seventh round of auctions.

Bidders included BHP Hilton, BP Plc (formerly British Petroleum), Cairn Energy, ONGC, Reliance Industries, Essar Oil and GVK Industries. There were 21 foreign companies, including nine first-time bidders.

No decision has been taken on multiple bids. Evaluation has to be completed within two months, and contracts signed by September 30.

This is the highest number of bids for oil and gas exploration received by the government so far.

In the sixth round of auctions in 2006, it received 165 bids for the 52 blocks put on auction.

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