MoP&NG Launches OALP Bid Round-VIII, Accelerates Exploration And Production Activities

MoP&NG extends bid closing date for OALP Bid Round-VIII till 12:00 hours, July 5, 2023

With Government of India’s focus to accelerate E&P activities across the Country, MoP&NG recently launched Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Round-VIII, offering 10 blocks, for International Competitive Bidding. For ensuring ease to bidders, the bids can now be submitted through a dedicated online e-bidding portal till 12:00 hours, by July 5, 2023. Award of OALP Round-VIII Blocks will further add 34,364.53 sq. km. of acreage and take the cumulative exploration acreage under OALP to 242,055 sq. km.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) was promulgated on 30 March 2016. Since then seven rounds of OALP have been successfully concluded and 134 E&P blocks have been awarded comprising an area of 2,07, across 19 sedimentary basins.

Government of India has taken some far-reaching decisions on reducing ‘No-Go’ areas in the Indian off shore by 99%. In this context, and with a view to accelerate E&P activities, enhance the ease of doing business and promote fresh investments in the E&P sector, the Government has recently effected significant changes in the contractual framework and incentive structure. Some of the key reformative changes include the following:

  1. Larger acreage areas through enhancement in upper limits for self-carving of acreage.
  2. Simplified modalities for carving out open acreage blocks with partial 1 ‘x 1’ unit.
  3. Flexibility in drilling commitment and clarification on Target Depth.
  4. Modifications in operatorship experience for Deep/Ultra-deep-water blocks.
  5. Improved bidding parameters evaluation criteria and other bidding terms
  6. Flexible Work Programme and relaxed exploration timelines suited to play based exploration approach in Category-II and III Basins.
  7. Modifications in ‘Effective date’ and introduction of ‘Commencement date’ for exploration timelines.
  8. Modified provisions for deduction of Taxes and Reference rate of conversion for Statutory and Contractual payments.
  9. Enhanced Stabilization Period for incentivizing Early Monetization of Discoveries.
  10. Introduction of Retention Period for submission of Field Development Plan.
  11. Modified definition of Arm’s Length Sale as per GOI notifications dated 25.10.2020.
  12. Modified provisions for change in Consortium during EO Iand bidding stage.
  13. Expanded scope of forcemajeure and rationalization of ‘Excusable Delay’ provisions
  14. Removal of dual liquidated damage for commencement of both development and production operations.
  15. Streamlined EoI and bidding processes, change in Net Worth definition, Basic Data Package cost and rationalized Tender/Application Fee and Bid/Participation Bond.

The updated contractual framework with the above mentioned changes to intensive E&P investments is available at DGH website( and E-Bidding Portal ( The bidders are encouraged to study revised terms, and submit the bids for OALP round VIII positively by 1200 hours of 05.07.2023.

Details of Blocks on Offer(OALP Bid Round-VIII)

S. No.Name of BlockArea(Sq. Km.)BasinCategoryType
2AS-ONHP-2022/12057.63Assam ShelfIOnland
3MB-OSHP-2022/14107.97Mumbai OffshoreIShallow Water
4GK-OSHP-2022/1765.54KutchIIShallow Water
5KK-OSHP-2022/16717.56Kerala KonkanIIIShallow Water
6BP-OSHP-2022/15754.92Bengal-PurneaIIIShallow Water
7GS-DWHP-2022/12742.7SaurashtraIIDeep Water
8KK-DWHP-2022/11112.71Kerala KonkanIIIDeep Water
9KG-UDWHP-2022/11199.64Krishna- GodavariIUltra-Deep Water
10MN-UDWHP-2022/19717.34MahanadiIIUltra-Deep Water

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