Moscow, June 17 IANS | 6 months ago

The Indian government is currently working on a new policy on oil and gas exploration which would ease the way for large foreign investments in the sector, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said here Tuesday.

"The government of India intends to bring in policies which would ease the way for large foreign investments in the oil and gas sector," Pradhan told representatives of the exploration and production (E and P) operators from various countries at a ministerial session during the World Petroleum Congress here.

India's oil ministry is already in the process of bringing out amendments and new policies, Pradhan added.

Pointing out how Indian national oil companies had invested more than USD 21 billion overseas, Pradhan also offered their expertise for overseas exploration and production activities.

A presentation made on the occasion on India's oil and gas sector outlined the proposed policy changes, including bringing in a uniform licensing policy to facilitate E and P operators working on a single policy regime.

The government is due to launch the 10th round of bidding under NELP, while the petroleum ministry had in January unveiled details of 46 oil and gas blocks to be offered.

Ministry sources have said the cabinet note for the tenth NELP will recommend revenue-sharing contracts with explorers in place of the current profit-sharing mechanism.

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of the state-run explorer ONGC, has signed a deal with Russia's largest oil and gas producer Rosneft to jointly explore hydrocarbons in the offshore Arctic.

OVL has a 20 percent stake in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in the Russian Pacific Ocean, while in January 2009 the company bought Imperial Energy, which has fields in Siberia, for USD 2.1 billion.

The World Petroleum Congress, being held at Moscow's Crocus Expo International Exhibition Centre, takes on particular importance amidst Russia's conflict with the West over the Ukraine crisis.

Rise in oil prices since the seizure of territory in Iraq by an Al-Qaeda splinter group -- the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) -- has also focused attention on the event.

(Posted on 17-06-2014)

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