India makes policy changes to encourage hydrocarbon development


HOUSTON  -- A delegation led by Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s minister of petroleum, participated in CERAWeek in Houston.  The objective was to inform prospective investors about the opportunities in the country due to the policy changes by the Government of India.

Minister emphasized that several progressive reforms have been enacted with the goal of reducing import dependency on oil and gas by 10% by 2022. He also mentioned that the country is now focusing on four pillars: 1) energy access by providing new connections; 2) expanding national gas grid network and PNG; 3) energy sufficiency by increasing capital investment in railways; and 4) opening up of new inland waterways to increase production of renewable energy and by increasing oil and gas production in upstream sector.

The ministry has introduced landmark changes in the entire value chain such as setting up of national data repository, launch of hydrocarbon exploration and licensing policy through open acreage licensing.

The new hydrocarbon licensing policy (HELP) will open up India’s entire sedimentary basin for domestic and foreign players providing an investor friendly regime. The new policy aims to provide investors a ready access to huge amount of seismic data through the national data repository (NDR), flexibility to carve out exploration acreages through an open acreage licensing (OAL) process and increased operational autonomy through a new revenue sharing model.

The NDR manifested through the (OAL) process will be a key facilitator by providing access to India’s entire E&P data process through a digital medium to all investors with the objective of harnessing the potential of India’s large basin areas.

The Ujjwala program was also discussed which aims to provide 50 million families with access to gas for cooking, expanding the national gas grid network from its current length of 15,000 km to 30,000 km and extending PNG to 10 million houses in the next five years.

The minister also spoke about the discovered small fields bidding round 2016 in a period of crude oil price volatility. The round received a total of 134 bids from 47 companies for 34 contract areas.  The government has approved the award of 31 contracts areas.

The delegation visited Lyondell Basell refinery and petrochemicals center near Houston to understand global good practices.

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