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English Release 19-December 2014
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Previous Date

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas04-June, 2013 17:36 IST
Inter-ministerial clearance process initiated in about 2.7 lakhs sq. km. for offering exploration blocks during 2013-14: Dr Moily

The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dr M Veerrappa Moily has said that Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH), has carved out exploration area of about 2



The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dr M Veerrappa Moily has said that  Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH),  has carved out exploration area of about 2.7 lakhs sq. km. for which process of inter-ministerial clearances has been initiated.  Chairing a meeting of his Ministry’s Parliamentary Consultative Committee(PCC) meeting at Mussoorie (Uttarakhand) today, the Minister added, “On completion of clearance process, exploration blocks are likely to be offered in 2013-14.”

Describing the subject of today’s meeting ‘Meeting Status on oil & gas exploration in India and acquisition of exploration & production assets abroad’ as important the Minister underlined the tremendous potential for enhancing domestic production of oil and gas. He said so far only 73 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas could be established through exploration, out of 205 billion barrels of prognosticated hydrocarbon resources. Thus, about 133 billion barrels of prognosticated resources remain to be unlocked through exploration.

The Minister also elaborated a number of steps taken recently to give boost to the exploration and production activities in the country and towards acquiring oil & gas assets abroad.  MoS Petroleum Smt P Lakshmi and Members of Parliament, Petroleum Secretary, Oil PSU CMDs and senior officers of Petroleum Ministry and Oil PSUs attended the meeting. Following are the opening remarks of Dr Moily :

“The topic of today’s meeting is  Status of Oil and Gas Exploration in India and Acquisition of Exploration & Production assets abroad”.  Before initiating the discussion on the topic, I would like to share with you the important developments. It is great pleasure for me to be here in the Consultative Committee Meeting today at Mussoorie and to discuss the important subject – “Status on oil & gas exploration in India and acquisition of exploration & production assets abroad”.

Global Energy Challenges

Globally, the main drivers of energy demand are population growth and rise in income levels. The energy challenge for everyone is to manage and meet demand affordably, sustainably and securely.  Another fact is that energy resources are not distributed evenly.  More than 60% of the world’s known reserves of natural gas are in just four countries,  and more than 80% of global oil reserves are  located in nine countries, most of which are well away from the hubs of energy consumption.


As you all are aware, the world economy is not yet recovered fully from 2008 slump and the EURO Zone challenges still continue. The demand for energy and more so hydrocarbons has nevertheless been increasing steadily.  The Shale gas exploration and production in USA has had its impact on global availability of energy sources.


The Indian economy is at a critical stage of development where energy requirement is increasing at a phenomenal pace. India is the fourth largest energy consumer in the world after USA, China and Russia. Given the limited domestic availability of oil and gas that constitutes almost 40% of the energy basket, the country is compelled to import over 75% of its domestic requirement and subject itself to the vagaries of a volatile international price scenario.


Indian Scenario

In order to achieve projected GDP growth of about 8% during 12th plan period (2012-17), oil and gas sector needs to grow in tandem with economy at faster pace.  We have challenge to provide supply of oil & gas on sustainable basis and at affordable prices in order to protect the interest of both consumers and producers.


As you will agree with me, increased domestic production of both oil and gas will go a long way in securing our nation’s energy supplies. For our nation, this is particularly important given that last financial year we imported crude oil for more than Rs Six lakh crores. What this means is that we have transferred significant amount of our nation’s wealth to oil exporting countries.


According to the Twelfth Five Year Plan, even though domestic production of energy resources is projected to increase during the plan period, import dependence will continue at a high level. The main area of import will be crude oil, where nearly 80 per cent of the demand will have to be met through imports by the end of the Twelfth Plan period.


Moving towards self-sufficiency goal will be a very significant step in the history of our nation. Over the years, our nation’s dependence on oil imports has only increased. Numerous forecasts also portend that over the next many years, our dependence on imported oil will increase further. Given all the forecasts, we are taking every possible initiatives to work towards self-sufficiency in petroleum. We will do everything, which is possible, so that we are able to meet our self-sufficiency goal.


China has seen a doubling of gas production in the last six years (2005-2011). The US has seen a tenfold increase in shale gas production over the last six years. Thus, like China and US we too can change our energy landscape in short span.


Is this achievable? Yes it is - so far only 73 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas could be established through exploration, out of 205 billion barrels of prognosticated hydrocarbon resources. Thus, about 133 billion barrels of prognosticated resources remain to be unlocked through exploration. As you will appreciate, this will be possible only by speedy implementation of new exploration programmes across the country.


I have rolled out New Vision and set ambitious targets  that aims to reduce our imports by 50 per cent by 2020; 75 per cent by 2025 and eventually achieve self-sufficiency and Energy  Independence for India by 2030


Our government will make every effort to reduce our nation’s dependence on imported oil and work towards securing Energy Independence for India.


Let me now briefly reflect how, in the current context, our government is trying to enhance domestic hydrocarbon production.


Permission of Exploration in Mining Areas

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has allowed exploration in mining lease areas, even after the completion of exploration period. This clarity & policy direction will attract significant investments in the Indian E&P sector and result in higher domestic production of hydrocarbons. This is expected to add substantial volume of oil and gas production in the existing Mining Lease areas. One recent gas discovery has been made in deepwater block under this policy.


Rangarajan Committee Recommendations

Even as we are trying to enhance domestic production through numerous policy measures, we are working to create enabling and conducive environment to promote investments, by making fiscal terms that are simple to administer.


Towards this direction, last year, under the direction of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, a committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. C  Rangarajan to look into the mechanism of Production Sharing Contracts.


The Rangarajan Committee Report is under active consideration and the actions for implementation of Rangarajan Committee recommendations have been initiated. This will improve the overall governance mechanism of the upstream oil & gas industry and will act as a confidence building measure to attract the much needed risk capital and newer technologies.


Co-Existence of National and Energy Security Operations

As you all are aware, that there were numerous oil & gas blocks where exploration and development activities were not permitted due to restrictions from the MoD.


Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas had series of meetings between the Ministry and the MoD, and most issues have been resolved.   In fact the Cabinet committee on investment has already given clearance for five out 8 exploration blocks in the No Go area.   Out of another  31 exploration blocks, 25 exploration blocks have been cleared.


These Clearances by the Government will enable these blocks to conduct exploration and development activities and thereby accelerate  our attempts to enhance domestic crude oil production. 



Since the operationalization of the NELP in 1999, the government has awarded 47.3 per cent of Indian sedimentary basin area for exploration. Under NELP, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been permitted in exploration and production of oil and gas. All these policy measures have resulted in significant investments in the E&P sector.


In order to enhance exploration in the country, Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) for 19 exploration blocks under ninth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) have been signed in 2012-13.

DGH has carved out exploration area of about 2.7 lakhs sq. km. for which process of inter-ministerial clearances has been initiated.  On completion of clearance process, exploration blocks are likely to be offered in 2013-14.

Shale Gas

Much like the United States of America, Shale Gas can emerge as an important new source of energy for our nation. India has several shale formations which seem to hold shale gas. The shale gas formations are spread over several sedimentary basins such as Cambay, Gondwana, Krishna-Godavari onland, and Cauvery. To explore and exploit the shale formations, the DGH has initiated steps. It will identify prospective areas for shale gas exploration. Very soon, we will finalize the Shale Gas policy, which will provide necessary impetus to the exploration activities and eventually pave the  way for increased domestic supplies of natural gas.


Coal Bed Methane

There are significant prospects for exploration of CBM as India is having the fourth largest proven coal reserves in the world. We are also pursuing gas production from the CBM Blocks. Under the CBM policy, 33 exploration blocks have been awarded. The estimated CBM resources in the country are about 92 trillion cubic feet (TCF), out of which less than 10 percent has so far been established. Commercial production of CBM in India has now become a reality with current CBM gas production of about 0.28 MMSCMD. A new CBM Policy is under active consideration of the Government to enable expeditious commencement of CBM production in case of captive coal blocks.


Crude oil & natural gas production in new areas

Before 2009, there was no crude oil and natural gas production in the state of Rajasthan. Even it was considered that there is no crude oil. However, today, Rajasthan has become the largest crude oil producing state in the country with production of about 8.593 MMT in 2012-13. In 2009, first time deepwater natural gas production commenced.


Crude oil production in 2012-13 was about 37.762 MMT, in which contribution by private/JV companies is about 30.7%.  The projected crude oil production in 2013-14 is about 39.396 MMT.


Natural gas production in 2012-13 was about 111.4 MMSCMD, in which contribution by private/JV companies is about 39.7%. The natural gas production of about 105 MMSCMD is expected in 2013-14. With the fresh investments in E&P sector, Natural gas production is likely to further rise by end of 12th five year plan.


Overseas E&P Activities

India is engaged in bilateral and multi lateral cooperation with various countries for oil & gas security. The government is encouraging national oil companies to aggressively pursue equity oil and gas opportunities overseas. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Limited (OVL) has produced about 7.26 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of oil and equivalent gas during the year 2012-13 from its assets abroad in Sudan, Vietnam, Venezuela, Russia, Syria, Brazil, South Sudan and Colombia. Oil PSUs viz., OVL, IOC, OIL, BPCL, HPCL and GAIL have acquired E&P assets in more than 20 countries.

In 2012-13, GOI has authorized OVL to acquire Participating Interest (PI) owned by Hess Corporation’s wholly owned subsidiaries in the upstream and midstream oil and gas assets in Azerbaijan with an investment of US $ 1001 Million.


Oil India Limited (OIL) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) have jointly acquired stakes in October 2012 in Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc’s (“Carrizo”) liquid rich shale assets in the Denver – Julesburg Basin in Colorado, USA.


Hydrocarbon Potential in the country

As of now, 73 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas could be established through exploration, out of 205 billion barrels of prognosticated hydrocarbon resources. Thus, about 133 billion barrels of prognosticated resources remain to be unlocked through exploration. As you will appreciate, this will be possible only by speedy implementation of new exploration programmes across the country. The Public and private sector companies are making their best efforts in the endeavour to find out the hidden hydrocarbon treasure by accelerating exploration activities in the country.


Roadmap for enhancing domestic oil & gas production

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has constituted a Committee, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Vijay Kelkar, to prepare a roadmap for enhancing domestic production of oil & gas and sustainable reduction in import dependency by 2030.


Concluding Remarks

I earnestly hope that these concrete steps would help to reduce dependence on imports.  Our Ministry will continue to strive towards evolving effective policy measures to enhance the energy security to the nation.”



RCJ/Rel-Consultative Committee4-6-2013



(Release ID :96402)

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