The new policy for auction of oil and gas blocks is likely to be finalised during the ongoing financial year, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday.
"We have brought this consultation paper and suggestions will come in by November 30. We will make the policy after considering all the views and take it to the Cabinet. It will be our endeavour to make the policy during this financial year only," Pradhan told
He was speaking on the sidelines of the industry chamber CII organised Bio-Energy Summit 2015.
"There were suggestions on the issue from institutions like CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General). To make new bidding round more progressive, transparent
and market friendly, we have brought in this consultation paper," he added.
Towards easing doing business in exploration, the government on Monday proposed to free domestic natural gas pricing and replace the existing production sharing contract by the revenue-sharing model for all future acreage auctions.
"It is proposed to provide pricing and marketing freedom for the natural gas to be produced from the areas to be awarded under the new contractual and fiscal regime to incentivise production from these areas," the petroleum ministry said on its website.
The ministry has also invited comments from stakeholders on a consultation paper on new fiscal and contractual regime for award of hydrocarbon acreages.
"In the recently announced marginal field policy, the government has provided pricing and marketing freedom for the natural gas," it added.
In September, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved a landmark change in India's hydrocarbons exploration regime, sanctioning the auction of 69 small and marginal oil fields of state-owned ONGC and Oil India to private and foreign firms.
"For the first time, a revenue-sharing model is being approved in place of production-sharing contract," Pradhan had told reporters here.
Under the proposed regime companies offering the maximum revenue share or percentage of oil and gas to the government, and committing to do more work, will win the field.
As per current practice, the companies get blocks by bidding the maximum work programme, and recover all their investment before sharing profits with the government, which had been criticised by the CAG.
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