India may start ‘open acreage’ system for oil exploration

July 15th, 2008 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) India may introduce an ‘open acreage’ system during the next round of auction of hydrocarbon assets that will help companies carve out blocks they want to drill, said a government official here Tuesday. Director General of Hydrocarbons V.K. Sibal told reporters that a national data repository, which will have geological information of basins and fields, was being prepared.

This information will help companies carve out blocks they want to drill under the ‘open acreage’ system, instead of bidding for pre-assigned blocks, he said.

Sibal added that the next round of auctions will take place in the second half of 2009.

The official said that the government would offer blocks for coal-bed methane by the end of December.

“I think we may offer less than 10 coal-bed methane blocks in the fourth round of bidding by end of the calender year,” Sibal said.

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