India to ‘auction 46 oil and gas blocks’

The Indian Government is reportedly planning to auction 46 oil and gas blocks by next month in a bid to boost local output and cut its dependence on imports. Prime […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Indian Government is reportedly planning to auction 46 oil and gas blocks by next month in a bid to boost local output and cut its dependence on imports.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is calling on local and foreign firms to drill in India as the demand for energy is increasing.

Although auctions of oil and gas blocks started more than a decade ago, they have failed to attract major overseas investors due to regulatory hurdles.

Mr Singh is quoted as saying: “There is a need to bridge the ever-increasing gap between demand and domestic supply. With this in mind, we are encouraging domestic and global companies to explore potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas in the framework of a stable and enabling policy environment.”

Out of the 46 exploration blocks, 17 are on land and the rest offshore. However the number of blocks could go up to 60 if all are given the go-ahead by the Government, according to reports.