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  • India: Reforms in Oil and Gas Exploration


    The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, Dharmendra Pradhan informed that the Government takes various policy and administrative initiatives from time to time to facilitate hydrocarbon exploration in the country.

    Some of the policy decisions taken by the Government in recent years to enhance exploration and production activities are:

    • The Government has approved Hydrocarbon and Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) and the same has been notified on March 30, 2016. This policy provides for a uniform licensing system to explore and produce all hydrocarbons such as oil, gas, coal bed methane, shale oil/gas, etc under a single licensing framework. The policy also provides many incentives such as reduced royalty rates for offshore blocks, marketing and pricing freedom and an easy to administer revenue sharing model.
    • Marketing and pricing freedom for new gas production from deepwater, ultra deepwater and high-pressure/high-temperature-areas are subject to certain conditions.
    • Discovered Small Fields Policy: 67 oil and gas fields which have been held by ONGC and OIL for many years, have not been exploited and have been approved for bidding under this policy.
    • Policy for grant of extension to the production sharing contracts of 28 small and medium sized discovered blocks.
    • Policy framework for relaxation, extensions and clarifications at the development and production stage under PSC regime for early monetization of hydrocarbon discoveries: Government has approved this policy on 10.11.2014, and the same is being implemented. Under this policy, about 40 pending cases have been resolved.
    • New Domestic Natural Gas price Guidelines, 2014: Under these guidelines, the gas price has been linked to the market/important hub prices.

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