Global energy giants British Gas, British Petroleum, Italy's ENI and Petronas of Malaysia were among a host of companies that bid on Friday for 55 oil and gas blocks in India offered in the sixth round of auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).
"We have received 165 bids at the close today (Friday). . . 34 foreign companies including 19 new ones participated in this round," V K Sibal, Director General of Hydrocarbons, said.
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp bid for the maximum number of 45 blocks, while Reliance Industries bid for 21. Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Natural Resources Ltd tied with Naftogaz of Ukraine to bid for 9 blocks and with PGNIG of Poland to bid for another 3 blocks.
BG was the lead bidder in the consortium that included ONGC and Coal India Ltd for three deep-sea and one shallow water block and partnered ONGC in 10 deep-sea, 2 shallow water offshore and 18 onland blocks.
Malaysia's Petronas bid for one shallow water block in prospective Krishna Godavari basin.
BP bid for two Mahanadi Basin deep-sea block with ONGC, while ENI was lead partner in two deep-sea, one shallow offshore and two onland blocks.
RIL bid for 17 deep-sea and blocks each in shallow water and onland. It took state-owned Oil India Ltd as partner in one Mahanadi basin deepsea block.
Cairn Energy of UK made lead bids for seven blocks on its own and was junior partner in five others.
Sibal said while 52 bids were received for 24 deep water blocks, six shallow offshore blocks got 24 bids and 25 onland blocks got 89 bids.
"We will award the contracts by November 15," he added.
However, supermajors Chevron, ExxonMobil and Conoco Philips of US, who were expected to partner Reliance Industries, did not participate.
Essar Oil put in third highest bids after ONGC and Reliance with interests in 15 blocks. Gujarat State Petroleum Corp was the lead bidder in 6 blocks with partners ranging from GAIL, HPCL, BPCL, OIL to Petrogas. Hindustan Oil Exploration CO (HOEC) also bid for six blocks while OIL was lead bidder in nine blocks.
Other companies which bid include Assam Co Ltd (2 blocks), Adani Port Infrastructure Ltd (4), Beach Petroleum (2), Canoro Resources of Canada (1), EOG Resources (1), Geoglobal Resources (1), Indian Oil Corp (2), Jubiland Oil and Gas (2), Joshi Technology (1), M3nergy Berhad (1), Pan Orient (3), Petrogas (3), Prize Petroleum (1), Premier Oil of UK (1), Santos International (1), Tap Oil (1), Valdel Oil and Gas Pvt Ltd (1) and Zakros Holdings Ltd (1).
The two deep-sea blocks in Kerala-Konkan basin and one in Andaman sea did not receive any bids. ONGC-led consortium was the sole bidder in four deep-sea, one shallow water and two onland blocks, while Essar Oil was the sole bidder in two onland blocks in Assam-Arakan basin.
Cairn Energy was the sole bidder in shallow water block PR-OSN-2004/1, Prize Petroleum in onland block SR-ONN-2004/1 and GSPC-led consortium was the sole bidder in onland block KG-ONN-2004/2.