Vedanta, ONGC, Oil India submit bids for discovered small field auctions

26 companies submit 106 bids in DSF – III for which the last date of submission was May 31


Vedanta  | ONGC | OIL India

Shine Jacob  | 

As many as 26 companies have submitted 106 bids in the third round of discovered small field (DSF) auctions for which the last date of submission of bids was May 31. The list of companies includes Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Oil India (OIL) and Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd, among others.

The current round of DSF was launched for 32 contract areas, spread across nine sedimentary basins, covering an area of more than 13,000 square kilometres. Out of the 32 contract areas, 11 are onland, 18 are in shallow water and one is in deep-water. Vedanta has submitted 31 bids, while ONGC has around 13 bids during the current round.

Other companies in the list of bidders include Invenire Energy, Sun Petrochemicals, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures, Oilmax Energy, Ganges Geo Resources, Joshi Technologies and Duganta Oil and Natural Gas. Out of the 26 companies – four were public sector undertakings and 22 private sector players.

“This demonstrates the interest of public and private players in the Indian exploration and production sector. This time, blocks were awarded in clusters and hence it received so much interest,” said a source aware about the development. E-bids were received against all contract areas on offer. Out of the total 32 areas, 24 of them got multiple bids taking it to a total of 98 e-bids, while only eight of them got single bids. The government had announced DSF Policy in October 2015 and till now two rounds of DSF have been concluded for 54 Contract Areas. As many as 27 companies, including 12 new entrants had participated in the first two rounds of DSF. The current round of DSF is expected to have an in-place hydrocarbons of around 230 million metric tonne.

According to the government, the salient features of DSF policy are revenue sharing model, single license for conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, no upfront signature bonus, reduced royalty rate in line with HELP (Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy), no cess, full marketing and pricing freedom for gas produced, exploration allowed during entire contract period, and 100 per cent participation from foreign companies and joint ventures.

In the DSF Round – I launched in 2016, 134 bids were submitted for 34 contract areas by 47 companies. 30 Revenue Sharing Contracts were signed. In DSF Round – II launched in 2018, 145 bids were submitted for 24 contract areas. 24 Revenue Sharing Contracts were signed.

The first round saw as many as 22 companies winning bids for 31 contract areas. The gross revenue from the first round was expected to be around Rs Rs 46,400 crore. The government’s share was expected to be around Rs 14,000 crore. However, production is yet to start from any of these blocks, majorly because of economic slowdown and the pandemic. During the second round in February 2019, a total of eight companies won 23 contract areas. The second round was also expected to start production during the current year.

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