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Help A Paradigm Shift In Oil & Gas Exploration, Js, Png At PHD Chamber


Joint Secretary (E), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Amar Nath on Thursday clarified stating that even under upgraded and modified new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), investors in oil and gas sector would have to obtain Field Development Plan (FDP) approvals as was the policy prescription under the pre HELP oil and gas regime.

He also affirmed that the seat of arbitration to resolve possible disputes between investors and the government in case these arise would stay put in India as over the years, the investors sentiments in Indian judicial and administrative system have established beyond any doubt, pointing out that earlier it was centered in London on account of perceptional related issues.

Addressing a Conference on Hydrocarbon Sector at the Backdrop of HELP Policy under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, Mr. Nath, however, explained that under HELP regime, the focus for FDP approvals would be more towards technical viability of projects for oil and gas exploration rather than concentrating on their commercial viabilities as was the prevalent practice in NELP era.

The Joint Secretary explained that paradigm shift in terms of policy moderation and up-gradation has been done in HELP in which the government has given up its monopoly to identify prospective oil and gas blocks before offering them for international competitive bidding and now left it entirely on investors to bid for any blocks based on their choice as the new policy has just opened up India’s prospective oil and gas blocks for exploration without any pre-conditionality.

According to him, 55 oil and gas blocks have been offered to prospective investors to explore oil and gas through international competitive bidding process, the last date for receiving bid is April 4th in which no preference would be accorded to national oil companies.


In order to accord the investors the best of policy framework and hassle free operational and administrative issues, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is trying its best to sort out the remaining procedural and operational issues with various departments within the centre government including states that have prospects for oil and gas discovery, concluded Mr. Nath.

Among other who were also present on the occasion comprised ED-Head EXCOM, ONGC, Mr. D Purkayastha; Chairman and Co-Chairman, Oil and Gas Committee, PHD Chamber, Mr. Sanjeev Agrawal and Mr. Pawan K Tibrawalla and Principal Director of the Chamber, Dr. Ranjeet Mehta moderate the session